Phoenix, Arizona - Three elderly victims have been paid more than $360,000 in restitution by a Phoenix woman who has owed the money since 2007, and whose husband recently won millions at a local casino, Attorney General Tom Horne announced today.
46 year-old Kimberly Lemke was ordered to pay restitution to her victims following her 2007 conviction on felony theft charges related to the bilking of nearly $370,000. Until the collection of $361,184.76 was made on April 23, Lemke had only made partial restitution.
The large sum was made available to Lemke after her husband won $5.7 million at Casino Arizona near Scottsdale in mid-April. Upon learning of that windfall, Assistant Attorney General Charles Johnson recorded a Racketeering-Restitution Lien against the casino winnings with the Maricopa County Recorder and the Secretary of State's Office, and served it upon Lemke on Friday April 27th. The following day Lemke left Johnson a voicemail message confirming that she had received the lien and that she would pay it off in full.
"This case has a happy ending because of an unexpected windfall," Horne said. "I want to recognize the hard work of our attorneys and our victims' rights advocates to ensure that the victims in this matter finally received the full restitution they deserved."
Lemke had been sentenced to 3.75 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections followed by 7 years of probation in 2007. She was in arrears on restitution payments through most of her probation.
The Attorney General's Office learned of the gambling winnings when the daughter of one of the defendant's victims phoned the Office of Victim Services, informing the restitution advocate that the defendant had been identified as the winner's wife on television. Victims' Rights Advocate Jana Gunn of OVS immediately began working with the Criminal Division, its Chief Andrew Pacheco; Financial Remedies Section Chief Aaron Ludwig; and Fraud and Special Prosecutions Chief Counsel Michael Benchoff, who assigned the task of collection to 30-year-AGO veteran Charles Johnson.