Paula May Marcelin stole the equivalent of more than two years of her salary — $51,000 — while she was employed as the officer manager at the elite, members-only Arid Club.
The 43-year-old former employee of the Boise dining club was sentenced this week to 14 years in prison, including 18 months before she’s eligible for parole, according to court records.
Marcelin used a stamp that had the general manager’s signature on it to write checks to herself and then covered her tracks through creative coding in the club’s books, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Shelley Akamatsu said at Marcelin’s sentencing Monday. The thefts occurred over a six-year period.
“I take full responsiblity for what I did,” Marcelin told Judge Steven Hippler. “I’m truly deeply sorry for the club, and my husband, and the kids, and my grandkids. I was under an enormous amount of stress and chronic pain, and insomnia, along with migraines.”
Hippler ordered Marcelin to pay restitution of $113,758 to the Arid Club and cover court costs of $245.50. One of the conditions of her parole is that she not work as a bookkeeper or any other position where she has access to money or bank accounts.
Her attorney said in court that the Emmett resident hurt her back in a horse accident in 2003, and then was injured again in a traffic crash a few years ago — and her medical bills were piling up. Marcelin told police she was keeping track of what she took because she planned to pay it back, Akamatsu said.
But investigators found no evidence of that.
“She was not keeping track because she was not going to pay this money back,” Akamatsu told Hippler, according to court records.
She said Marcelin found another job after she was fired from the Arid Club eight months ago but had not begun repaying what she stole.
An accountant’s audit of the Arid Club’s books last year revealed that funds were missing, and police were called to investigate. In November, she was charged with felony grand theft, and in May she reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.