Although the company will only see half of the money Michaelski stole, the company’s owner Mark Sikorski says the restitution will help him repay some of the bills and bank fees he’s been unable to pay since the theft.
Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio allowed Sikorski to give his input on sentencing. “I’m glad I had a chance to choose,” he told Buffalo One News.
If Judge DiTullio had sentenced Michaelski to jail, she would have likely paid even less in restitution than the $50,000 she has been ordered to repay.
At sentencing, Sikorski received a check for $50,000.
“This will give me a chance to rebuild what I started building,” Sikorski said.
Sikorski said he believes Michaelski actually embezzled nearly $500,000 but could only prove the theft of $176,075.
“Sikorski said he left Michalski to attend to the trucking company, paying its bills and handling payroll and the like, while he concentrated on other business matters,” Buffalo One News reported.
Sikorski said the theft hit the small company hard. He was forced to lay off employees and says he didn’t pay himself for nearly 3 years while Michaelski and her family were taking vacations, “living the high life.”
Michalski pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny for stealing $176,075 between April 2003 and September 2011. She also pleaded guilty to first-degree offering a false instrument for a false income tax return.