By  on June 23, 2008

NEW YORK — The trial of a former Saks Fifth Avenue jewelry saleswoman accused of inappropriately discounting high-end pieces in order to boost her commissions was postponed last week and is set to be taken up in New York Supreme Court here on July 14.

Cecille Villacorta was charged in a 316-count grand jury indictment of, in effect, stealing more than $1 million in merchandise from 2000 to 2006. The charges include grand larceny and falsifying business records.

She is accused of logging nonexistent returns of merchandise into the store's computer system and of representing that customers used gift certificates when they did not, according to court papers.

Villacorta was fired from the luxe retailer in January 2006 and arrested later that month.

In April 2007, she sued Saks Inc. for, among other things, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel and slander and breach of contract.

In that suit, a lawyer for the saleswoman argued, "Saks initiated this criminal prosecution against Villacorta in order to damage her reputation, to gain financial benefits to which it was not entitled and to obtain competitive advantage by interfering with her future earning capacity and her client relationships."

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