Small law

Secretary Confesses to Stealing $72,000 from Law Firm
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Randolph-based firm robbed

Summary: A secretary confesses in court to stealing $72,646 from the law firm she worked for.

Sometimes trust is a matter of convenience rather than wisdom. After Wendy Wainstein, 53, admitted Wednesday that she had stolen $72,646 from the attorneys who employed her, they realized just this, that though entrusting Wainstein may have been convenient, it was ultimately a huge mistake.


“We had trusted her to the point we allowed her to pay bills out of our business account,” said Kevin McArdle, who, along with his wife Sara Sencer McArdle, lead a law firm in Randolph, which has since then been relocated to Parsippany.

It started out small. Wainstein at first took just a little money, but as her confidence of invisibility grew, she ended up taking as much as $15,000 in one month, nabbing the full $72,000 through 130 checks she cashed to herself over the course of the next year. She hid the carbon copies of the checks from her employers.

Emboldened by her audacity, Weinstein further asked the firm’s payroll to pay her thousands of dollars for overtime she never in fact worked.

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“Sara and I were wondering why we were working so hard,” but didn’t see the money we expected, said Kevin McArdle.

The jig was up once Sara McArdle noticed a few carbon copies missing, suspiciously leaving a blank of who the checks were written out to. When the McArdles asked the secretary to meet up to discuss the discretion, Wainstein failed to show, giving them no choice but to call the police.

Though Wainstein will not be sentenced till January 9, her agreement with the court was to pay $1,000 at sentencing, and $100 a month till full restitution is made, for Morris County Assistant Prosecturer Michael Rappa recommended to Superior Court Judge Robert Gilson a five year probation sentence with full restitution.


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