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Middletown woman who embezzled $529,000 from employer to support gambling habit learns fate

Posted 5/3/19

A Middletown woman who in 2017 was sentenced to work release in Dauphin County Court for embezzling $529,000 to support her gambling addiction was in court again on May 2 — this time before …

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Middletown woman who embezzled $529,000 from employer to support gambling habit learns fate

Posted

A Middletown woman who in 2017 was sentenced to work release in Dauphin County Court for embezzling $529,000 to support her gambling addiction was in court again on May 2 — this time before federal U.S. Middle District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo.

Rambo sentenced Diane Fabian, 68, to five years of federal probation after Fabian pleaded guilty to tax evasion for failing to report $139,079 of her income from the thefts to the Internal Revenue Service.

Among probation conditions Rambo ordered Fabian to make a lump sum payment of $100, followed by payment of at least $25 a month for every month of her probation toward repayment of the $139,079 as restitution, according to online court documents.

Barring her “winning the lottery,” Fabian’s defense attorney Corky Goldstein said that given her age Fabian will never have enough time or money to pay off all the restitution. And Fabian is barred from playing the lottery, Goldstein said.

In January 2017, Fabian was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in Dauphin County Prison by Judge John Cherry. However, Cherry made her immediately eligible for the county work release program.

Cherry also sentenced Fabian to 20 years of county probation following her completing the county work release, Goldstein told the Press & Journal. Cherry also ordered Fabian pay $535,179.77 in restitution.

Fabian embezzled the money while working for two insurance agencies in Lower Paxton Township from 2008 to 2015. The thefts could have started earlier, but investigators could only document bank records to 2008.

Today Fabian shares a rented house in Middletown with two other people. She works eight hours a day seven days a week as a housekeeper for a motel, Goldstein said.

Goldstein told the federal court that Fabian has been faithfully paying $200 a month toward the county-imposed restitution. She will now pay $225 a month in restitution following the sentencing by Rambo.

One of the two insurance agencies Fabian worked for while she was embezzling the money recovered part of the money through insurance, Goldstein said.

Fabian’s county restitution is applied to what the insurance didn’t cover. After that Fabian will keep paying restitution to reimburse the insurance company.

Fabian was first charged in 2016, and since then has been under the care of Jim Snyder, a specialist certified in gambling addiction, Goldstein said. Snyder testified on Fabian’s behalf in both sentences before Cherry and Rambo, Goldstein said.

Fabian is in remission from gambling. Her recovery is such that Snyder has asked her to speak about her own experience to other gambling addicts, Goldstein noted.

She must continue attending gambling classes as a condition of probation. As part of cooperating with authorities early on in her case, Fabian voluntarily barred herself from being inside any casino in the United States, Goldstein said. She is also barred as a condition of both her county and federal probation, Goldstein said.

Fabian, who had no prior criminal record, could have been sentenced by Cherry to a maximum of up to seven years in prison for each of the 76 counts she pleaded guilty to — a total of 532 years.

Fabian’s gambling addiction was such that even after she wrecked her car one night, all she could think of was getting to the casino, she said before being sentenced by Cherry in 2017. She called her son and rented a car so she could get to the casino.