A woman escaped serving jail time May 31 after pleading guilty to taking more than $6,400 from Quik Cash where she worked as an employee.
Angela Mae Gregg, 25, will serve 48 months of probation instead and pay back every cent she stole. Gregg could have spent as much as 3.7 years in jail for the theft that involved at least eight victims during a four- to five-month period.
Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill said it was clear from a pre-sentencing report that Gregg felt remorse for her actions and was taking the necessary steps to get her life on track.
Gregg has reportedly sought treatment for a drug addiction at Southwest Behavioral Health Center in Payson for at least a year. In court, Gregg said she had been clean for 12 months and was working to provide a better life for her son and a child on the way.
Given the steps that Gregg had taken since her arrest, Cahill said he would not put her in jail as long as she continued with recovery and promised never to let anything like this happen again.
Gregg said she hopes to make amends for her actions.
“I have hurt a lot of people and I let people down,” she said. “I want to pay them back and be successful.”
Quik Cash managers first discovered Gregg was creating fraudulent loans during an annual audit last year.
Looking through paperwork, a manager discovered “several red flags” including Gregg’s attempts to hide errors and missing information from files.
When confronted, Gregg, an employee of 2.5 years, denied any wrongdoing.
However, Gregg had left a paper trail leading managers to several fraudulent accounts that she used to launder money through. Using real and fictitious names from the Quik Cash database, Gregg created new loans and withdrew money for her benefit.
“In order to try to cover her tracks and provide the collateral required in the file, (Gregg) established an account at Wells Fargo, purchased checks from a stationary store and printed up these checks using the customers’ names on the checks,” according to a pre-sentencing report.
In all, Gregg withdrew $6,430 without the permission of the business or clients.
The money, by her own admission, was used to fund an addiction to narcotics.
“I ask that you see I had gotten into bad things that caused me to become someone morally that I am not,” Gregg wrote to Cahill.
Soon after her April 20, 2010 arrest, Gregg enrolled in counseling services and has since been under the care of a psychiatrist, counselor and her drug addiction is monitored in a methadone program.
Gregg asked Cahill for leniency given she is the mother of an 8-year-old and is pregnant with her second child.
“Please be lenient on me so I can continue to make progress as well as work to pay what is owed to Quik Cash and be here for my kids,” Gregg said in the pre-sentencing report.
Gregg’s attorney Michael Bernays said Gregg has done a complete turnaround since her arrest.
“She really could be one of our success stories,” Bernays said. “She has taken a new approach to life.”
Quik Cash manager Jeff Albin phoned in to Gregg’s sentencing and asked Cahill to impose a jail sentence given the harm Gregg did to the company.
“We put a lot of value and trust in our employees and it was taken advantage of in this case,” Albin said.
Most importantly, Albin said Quik Cash is looking out for its customers.
Cahill said he believes Gregg understands the gravity of her offense and that there is a low level of reoccurrence.
Gregg will serve 48 months of probation, attend the Gila County Drug Court program and complete a substance abuse screening and any recommended treatment. She could face 90 days in jail, however, if she violates the terms of probation.