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Judge believes sentenced embezzler is ‘sitting on the money’

Posted at 7:19 PM, Jul 21, 2015

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. --Judge T. J. Hauler sentenced Melissa Morris to two and a half years in prison, saying her crime of embezzlement created a massive loss for everyone.

The judge added that he thought she was sitting on the money, not believing she squandered nearly a half million dollars.

Melissa Morris pleaded guilty to five counts of embezzlement after being charged on 16 counts.

Morris worked for Industrial Machine Manufacturing, doing the books for nearly a decade.

It wasn't until the owner, Marvin Garrett passed away, that the theft of money quickly came to light.

But during the years it was happening, employees were forced to take a 14% pay cut for more than three years and then have their work week reduced to four days. All in an effort to keep the business going.

It's estimated the business lost $464,764.24 due to the embezzlement.

Robert Morris says he and his wife have nothing of value to sell to help with restitution.

Right now, the family lives on a plantation, their housing being provide in exchange for work done on the property.

The house they had lived in is now in foreclosure.

Robert says his wife started stealing the money before they were married, he says because the father of her two children was not providing for the family.

Robert says he was not aware of the money thefts until the arrest.

Since the discovery of the embezzlement, several employees had to be laid off and the company had to be sold.

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