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Employee who stole nearly $100K from Curvin’s avoids jail

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Cynthia Benz has paid $75K in restitution, owes $16,500

ALBION – A former employee at Curvin’s News and Smoke Shop in Medina, who allegedly stole $91,500 in Lotto tickets from the business, avoided a jail sentence in Orleans County Court today.

Cynthia Benz, 61, of Medina was ordered to five years probation, 300 hours of community service and full restitution. She has paid $75,000 back so far and that factored in Judge James Punch’s decision to not send her to jail. District Attorney Joe Cardone also requested no jail time for Benz, saying she has been cooperative in working to pay the full restitution.

Benz apologized in court for taking scratch-off Lotto tickets.

“I’m very sorry this has happened,” she told Judge Punch. “I can’t believe the people I’ve embarrassed.”

Benz was charged with grand larceny. Several community members submitted letters of support on her behalf to the judge.

Punch had stern words for Benz, saying he wasn’t impressed by the letters. He said she stole from a small town merchant  “hundreds of times” while “masquerading as a nice lady from Medina.”

He ordered that she have a psychological evaluation.

“You’re a crook,” he said during sentencing. “You have to overcome that somehow.”

Another former Curvin’s employee also faces a third-degree grand larceny charge for allegedly stealing $20,000 worth of Lotto tickets. Kim Capstick’s case is going through the county court system.