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Sephora’s Roberts Gets Indicted

NEW YORK — Judith Ashley Roberts, the Sephora U.S. employee who was arrested over the weekend in Mobile, Ala., was indicted here on Tuesday for stealing more than $508,247 from her employer.<P>Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau...

NEW YORK — Judith Ashley Roberts, the Sephora U.S. employee who was arrested over the weekend in Mobile, Ala., was indicted here on Tuesday for stealing more than $508,247 from her employer.

This story first appeared in the May 30, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced on Tuesday that Roberts, 33, also known as Tillie Roberts, was charged with two counts of grand larceny in the second degree, one count of attempted grand larceny in the second degree, one count of grand larceny in the third degree, three counts of forgery in the second degree and three counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.According to Morgenthau, the thefts occurred between July 2000 and November 2001, while the defendant, who was director of marketing at Sephora’s offices here, supervised promotions for Sephora’s stores and direct marketing campaigns. The scam was uncovered when marketing projects were unexpectedly over budget.

Of the multiple charges, grand larceny in the second degree is a Class C felony that carries the highest punishment of up to 15 years in prison. With the exception of the falsifying business records charge, which is punishable by up to four years in prison, the remaining charges are punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The investigation, Morgenthau said, included the assistance of Alabama local police departments in Orange Beach and Baldwin County. As reported, Roberts was arrested Friday in Alabama. Morgenthau’s office said that Roberts allegedly began falsely billing Sephora for photography which she claimed was done for a series of promotions just months after she joined the luxury cosmetics chain. The defendant, who was making $112,000, allegedly submitted bills for photography for seasonal and holiday catalogs using the name of a friend as a company. In addition to faked invoices, Roberts allegedly forged her boss’ signature to approve the bills and funneled payments from Sephora into an account that she controlled.