Female White-Collar Crime Divas-Mordern Day Thieves
Not long ago, I met an attorney whom after I informed her of my writings concerning women in trouble, she surprising told me about a legal situation she went through, and with her permission and my own creative writing skills I wrote her story for others to read and learn from. I named this short story, “Password.” After you read it, you will understand why. I am posting the first chapter on this site and hope that it interests you enough to read the eBook. In a few days a paperback with a collection of short stories will be release and Password will be included.
Becky Lynn Mallard stood penitently in front of Judge Frank Stanford after the court’s clerk called her name and case number.
“Ms. Mallard, the court’s records show you are eighteen years old. Is that correct?”
“Yes, Sir,” her youthful, confident voice quieted the courtroom.
“It also shows that you are Catholic and attend church every Sunday. Is that correct?”
Becky trembled inside as she held her hands in front of her, “Yes, Sir.” She began to sense that his questions were slowly stripping away her freedom.
Her weary parents sat quietly behind her court appointed attorney in the first row of seats, holding hands and muttering silent prayers.
The gray-haired judge leaned forward from his elevated bench with his eyeglasses resting on the tip of his cherry blush nose. The majesty of the black robe he wore, distinguished his authority in his courtroom. His voice was flat and void of any sympathy. “You know right from wrong, Ms. Mallard!” His inquiry seemed more of a statement than a question.
“Yes, I do.”
“You did realize when you obtained access to the bank’s internal computer system, and then entered funds into your account that you were committing a crime?”
Tears swelled in Becky’s eyes, “Yes, Sir.”
“Do you understand the seriousness of your actions?” He asked, as he stared imperiously down at her.
Becky’s heart started beating faster and perspiration seeped to the surface of her skin. She did not anticipate the barrage of questions. “Yes, I do.”
Judge Stanford slouched back in his magnificent leather chair looking at her, and then at the prosecutor. “I have before me your plea agreement Ms. Mallard,” he said before pausing. “Due to the extreme seriousness of your crime, I am not going to honor it.”
The finality of his statement frayed every nerve in Becky’s body. Stunned she stared at her attorney standing to her right, and then the prosecutor who stood to her left. The expressions on both faces revealed their profound disbelief.
The judge continued, “We cannot have individuals committing these serious offenses and just getting a slap on the wrist.” Becky’s shaky knees nearly buckled. From his tone, she knew that this was not good for her. She glanced back at her parents through tear filled eyes. Her father didn’t like what he was hearing. “Ms. Mallard, I’m sentencing you to eighteen months in federal prison, and two years of supervised release.”
“Please, I’m sorry! Please don’t send me to prison!” Becky cried out loudly. Her pitiful pleas fell on unsympathetic ears, however.
“You are ordered to pay two thousand dollars restitution,” the judge continued.
Her father began to weep as he held on to the limp shoulders of his wife who had fainted.
“I’m also fining you one thousand dollars and an assessment fee of one hundred dollars.” He took a breath as he waited for her to calm down. “Ms. Mallard, if I allow you to remain free on bond, will you report to prison when notified?”
Becky frantically looked around for someone to help with her situation. She was confused and didn’t know what was going on. The prosecutor and her attorney had an agreement that placed her on two-year probation, but the judge was sending her to prison? She didn’t understand how this could happen.
“Ms. Mallard,” the judge raised his voice to get her attention, “will you surrender yourself to the prison?”
Shocked and devastated, she mumbled, “Yes.”
“Ms. Mallard, you will have to speak up so we can hear you.” The judge stated.
The prosecutor and her attorney asked to approach the bench. They left the side-bar with their heads down. The judge had a reputation of being hard, unbending, and exercising his authority as he saw fit. He waved to the bailiff. “Call the next case!”
The Mallard family walked out of the courthouse in tears and disbelief. How could a judge be so heartless? Becky had been a good kid and was a hard worker. She had made a foolish decision out of desperation and immaturity. But, did this one bad decision warrant sending her to prison with no thought of how it would affect her future?
Her father didn’t understand how this could be. He had believed that the American legal system was founded on justice. Surely, his daughter had committed a serious crime, but she did not deserve such a harsh punishment. Privately, he thought the legal system had gone to hell and there wasn’t a damn thing anyone could do about it, because the federal judges were appointed for life . . . .
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