ALPENA – Judge Thomas LaCross, who is accused of stealing a quarter of a million dollars from the business of her brother-in-law Gena Carstens from Spruce, is on trial, Judge Thomas LaCross ruled on Wednesday in the 88th District Court of Alpena.

In a trial that continued from Tuesday, a witness said Carstens had given herself two raises over eight years and diverted cash from the cash register only to eventually steal enough to move the hardware store business where she was no longer doing business.

A chartered accountant who analyzed Ossineke Building Supply’s financial records in Ossineke resumed the testimony begun Tuesday when she said that between 2010 and 2018 when the store closed, more than $ 200,000 in sales and withdrawals were made Cash drawers were missing.

According to statements, Carstens was responsible for the business’s money during those years. The inconsistencies were discovered after the shopkeepers discovered that they were missing money while searching the records for the sale of the shop.

On Wednesday, CPA Cynthia Scott said a fraud investigation into the store’s financial records revealed that Carstens increased by $ 2 an hour in 2012 and 2013.

The store owners have not approved these increases, according to Annette Carstens, co-owner of the store, who testified Tuesday.

The unauthorized increases totaled $ 35,300 in excess labor costs, Scott said. She also testified that her review revealed suspicious bills for $ 16,000 relating to a company owned by Gena Carsens’ husband.

Defense attorney Dave Funk clarified through cross-examination that Scott could not prove who had transferred the money that had not made it from the cash register to the bank account.

LaCross said Alpena County Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski has produced more than enough evidence to tie Gena Carsens to the Circuit Court. Carstens remains free and faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years if convicted.

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