A woman who spent more than $100,000 of a Stafford County company’s money on such things as a wedding planner and flights to Miami for a buttocks lift was ordered Thursday to spend three years in prison.
Vanessa O. Cline, 33, of Stafford was sentenced in Stafford Circuit Court to a total of 16 years with all but three years suspended. She had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement, forgery and passing a forged document.
Judge Michael Levy’s sentence was way above the recommended state sentencing guidelines, which called for a maximum active sentence of six months.
According to the evidence, Cline was working as a bookkeeper for No Limits Construction when the theft was discovered in 2018. The previous bookkeeper was convicted that same year of stealing more than $150,000 from the company, and Cline had assisted police in the investigation against her.
“Unbeknownst to anyone, she was stealing from under their nose as well,” prosecutor Ryan Fitzgerald said. “She wasn’t just stealing from a company. She was stealing from people who treated her like family and trusted her.”
In addition to $25,000 spent on a wedding planner and the buttocks lift, Cline also used company funds to purchase such things as a wedding dress, lodging in Florida, an all-terrain vehicle, groceries, airline tickets, furniture and sex dolls. She had the company’s credit card statements sent to her home.
An investigation began after the company owner learned that the company was behind on its American Express payments and that the company credit card would be closed. Several company representatives testified Thursday about the financial damage done by Cline’s actions, and Fitzgerald said three innocent people lost their jobs as a result.
Cline was ordered to make restitution totaling $92,869. Fitzgerald said she actually stole more than $118,000, but the company got some money back from insurance and the wedding planner.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404
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