Reinbold Convicted Of Fraud, Theft The Ex-office Manager Said She Just Acted On Behalf Of Her Employer.

Posted: February 01, 1994

A Chester County judge yesterday found Carol Reinbold guilty of having taken nearly $600,000 in company funds and of having used it for shopping sprees, vacations and renting a Ford Thunderbird.

But the former office manager continued to maintain that her actions were justified.

Judge Paula Francisco Ott ruled that Reinbold was guilty of 13 of 14 counts of credit-card fraud and theft from July 1986 to August 1992 while she worked at Creusot-Marrel Inc. in Wayne.

According to testimony, Reinbold made 7,000 purchases. But Reinbold, who did not testify in her own defense in the nonjury trial, said that she made the purchases and spent the money while entertaining overseas visitors from France. The Wayne office is the U.S. sales office of the Creusot-Marrel, a French steel manufacturer.

"I was directed to do everything I did to provide every luxury for every visitor," Reinbold, 38, said in an interview after the verdict.

"I'm relieved it's over. . . . I've never even had a parking ticket or a speeding ticket. This has been a trauma beyond words."

She was found guilty of five counts of unauthorized use of a credit card, four counts of theft by unlawful taking, and four of five counts of theft by failure to make required distribution of funds.

She could face up to seven years in prison on each count. Ott set sentencing for March 28.

Along with the verdict, the judge placed numerous restrictions on Reinbold, who has been free on 10 percent of $250,000 bail since her arrest in April. But Ott did not double Reinbold's bail, as had been requested by Assistant District Attorney John Pavloff, who said that the temptation to flee increases after a conviction is announced.

Reinbold's attorney, William Winning, argued that "any increase would be tantamount to revoking bail" and that there is little evidence that Reinbold would flee.

Winning said it is not likely that Reinbold would leave her son, who lives in Montgomery County with his father; her fiance, Werner Beck, with whom she lives in Forest, Va.; or her father, who lives in Montgomery County and is confined to a wheelchair.

Winning said that Reinbold has kept in regular contact with authorities in Bedford County, Va., and with bail officials in Chester County. And, he noted, she has come back to Pennsylvania each time her case was scheduled.

"Carol Reinbold was the only person who got here the first day of the snowstorm (Jan. 18)," Winning said. "The courthouse was closed, and the only person waiting to get in was Carol Reinbold."

Ott did not increase bail, but she ordered Reinbold to call the Chester County bail office daily and to report in person each Friday when she returns to Pennsylvania to visit her son.

Ott continued to hold Reinbold's passport and told Reinbold that her son's passport must also be turned over to the court or to his father.

And the judge ordered the district attorney to ask the Immigration and Naturalization Service to throw up a red flag if applications come in for either Reinbold or her son.

"I have a concern," Ott said, "that she (Reinbold) is the kind of person who would go out and get another passport."

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