Hart woman pleads guilty to embezzling from Gale’s IGA.

April 11, 2016
Laura Routley, at left, with her attorney Julie Springstead Waltz.

Laura Routley, at left, with her attorney Julie Springstead-Waltz.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — A 50-year-old Hart woman pleaded guilty Monday, April 11, in 27th Circuit Court to embezzling $20,000 or more/less than $50,000 from Gale’s IGA grocery store.

Laura Yvonne Routley, of 765 E. Hazel Rd., faces serving a four-and-a-half month jail term in exchange for her guilty plea.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon told Judge Anthony A. Monton that he agreed to cap Routley’s up-front jail time at the midpoint of the sentencing guidelines, which are 0-9 months. Restitution and probation will also be included in her sentence, Bizon said.

The maximum penalty for embezzlement $20,000-$50,000 is 10 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater.

Routley testified Monday that as a cashier at Gale’s, she processed money orders and stole the cash that customers paid for the orders.

Routley turned herself in to the Hart Police Department, Feb. 12. Hart Police Chief Dan Leimback said previously that Routley embezzled approximately $50,000 over the course of seven years, dating back to 2009 until January of 2016.

Sentencing is set for May 23 at 9 a.m. Routley remains free on a $10,000/surety/10 percent bond.