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Secretary indicted for abusing firm’s finances

Smith charged with ringing up thousands on business credit card

Published: Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 9:00 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 8:48 a.m. CST

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A Morris law firm secretary was arrested after being indicted on a charge that she made more than $10,000 in unauthorized purchases, ranging from Cubs tickets to a three-tiered cat tree, on her employer’s dime.

According to court records, Kimberly A. Smith, 45, of Morris, is accused of theft by deception for making between $10,000 and $100,000 in purchases between Jan. 1, 2008, and May 23, 2012, on checks or a credit card owned by her employer, Mark Rigazio, attorney for the Rigazio Law Office.

She was arrested following the filing of an indictment Wednesday in the Grundy County Circuit Court. Grundy County jail records Thursday list Smith as arrested on a warrant. She posted $2,500 bond and was released from custody.

According to the indictment, Smith allegedly used her position as a secretary who handled finances of the law office to write checks and make credit card charges on office accounts to make personal purchases for herself, family members and friends.

An exhibit attached to the indictment fleshed the purchases out further, noting that they began in late 2007, when Smith came to Rigazio with a request to be put on his Capitol One credit card under a different number. She said it would only be used to purchase office supplies if she saw a bargain.

In early 2008, Rigazio’s bookkeeper noted that personal charges were being placed on the card by Smith, the exhibit said. When confronted, she said her husband was out of work and they were having financial problems. Rigazio accepted the explanation, telling her to denote personal purchases to the bookkeeper and pay them monthly.

After that point, Smith allegedly noted “office supplies” on personal items in an effort to deceive the bookkeeper, “when in fact many of the purchases were personal and not reimbursed to Mr. Rigazio,” the document said.

Rigazio reportedly never handled the credit card statements, but began to examine charges after his bookkeeper reported they were getting out of hand. After reviewing them, he found that over the years, going back to 2008, Smith had made personal purchases to stores, including Walmart, Dollar General and Jewel, and that she had used his office FedEx account to make personal shipments.

The exhibit outlined larger purchases allegedly made by Smith, including more than $2,900 in tickets to the Chicagoland Speedway between 2010 and 2012, which was listed as a reimbursement for client entertainment expenses, a purchase that appeared to be a law book but was found to be a dog hunting and training video and a college math book for Smith’s daughter, Cubs tickets on Stub Hub, and hunting supplies and gifts from Walmart that were listed as a “store-to-store ink cartridge.”

Smith also allegedly purchased meals at Sherwood Oaks Restaurant and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee that were not used for the office. Additional miscellaneous items listed included cigarettes, tampons, floral skirts and a three-tiered cat tree. All purchases, the exhibit states, were without Rigazio’s permission.

Morris Police Department’s Detective Eric Werden testified for the grand jury.

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