Kiki Sue Jutting of Mason City, Iowa, charged with stealing more than $80,000 from her employer, was sentenced Monday to a suspended prison term and probation.
Judge James Drew sentenced Kiki Sue Jutting, 35, to up to 10 years in prison which was suspended. She was also ordered to serve five years of probation and complete 200 hours of community service.
Jutting pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree theft.
Jutting was accused of stealing $80,026.04 from Central Park Dentistry, owned by Drs. Jay Lala and Matt Hansen in Mason City. She agreed to restitution in that amount. Jutting liquidated a retirement account worth $25,800 which will be applied towards the restitution.
The dental practice's insurance carrier reimbursed the firm for $65,000.
The balance of the funds will be used to pay fines, court costs and $660 in court-appointed attorney fees.
The defense had asked for a deferred judgment and suspended sentence.
"A deferred judgment in this case is not appropriate," said Drew. He said the theft was not a "heat of the moment" crime adding that she had time to reflect on her actions before stealing the money.
"This is a huge theft by any standard." Drew said.
"However, walking out of the courtroom as a convicted felon is no small matter," Drew said.
Lorrie Lala, wife of Dr. Jay Lala, told the court that Jutting's actions cost the dental practice lost income beyond the money she stole from the practice during her time as business manager.
Lala said the theft left the remaining employees with "shock, anger and sadness." One employee was so upset the individual needed to attend counseling.
The practice's insurance premiums have also been increased, Lala said.
"We are tired of paying for someone else's poor judgment and lack of moral compass," she told the court.
Jutting could be sued by the insurance company to recover the money it paid out in the settlement.