|By Bill McKelway, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
A clearly upset Judge
"No. It's time to go," the judge said bluntly as Mayhew family members sobbed and laid-off employees of the multimillion-dollar firm watched from the other side of the courtroom.
Mayhew, 55, a
Senior Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney
O'Connor urged Overton to consider a prison term far beyond guidelines that would have allowed Mayhew to walk out of the courthouse instead of to jail.
"She's a good person who made a bad decision," Mayhew's lawyer countered, referring to her serious illnesses and her family's dependence on her.
Adams Marketing founders
Mayhew's illness in 2012 afforded a look at the books, and audits revealed embezzlements that O'Connor pegged at
O'Connor said Mayhew "was a thief every week and every day. She bit the hand that fed her."
The embezzlement occurred as a particularly tough business cycle took hold. Adams testified that in better times "if she had done what she did, we could have filled the hole that she dug."
The company, which had employed as many as 30 people at one time, was down to about 15 by the time it buckled last month.
Mayhew and a member of
But Adams looked out at an audience in the courtroom that included former employees who had been by his side for as long as 25 years. Asked by O'Connor what the company had meant to him, he answered with two words: "Our life."
"Our friends tell us this is a victimless crime," he wrote in a statement for the court. "From where we sit we can see the faces of many victims that can never be made whole and will never recover emotionally or financially."
(c)2013 the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Va.)
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