LAWRENCEVILLE – Gwen Clary Painter, 57, will spend the next nine years in prison for embezzling funds from three victims.
In Brunswick Circuit Court on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Judge Carson Saunders sentenced Painter to 435 years for 87 counts of embezzlement and suspended 426 years for 20 years. She was ordered to pay $535,060.95 in restitution. The breakdown is: C. K. Greene, the owner of Virginia Custom Thinning and Virginia Trees - $390,107.16, Greg Jones, the owner of Jones Timber Team - $58,221.51, and Jeff Andrews, the owner of RJA Fire Extinguisher Sales and Service - $86,732.29. Painter was placed on supervision for an indefinite time when released, ordered to submit a DNA sample, and ordered to have no contact with the victims or their families. Painter paid $1,000 in restitution leaving a balance of $435,060.95.
Prior to sentencing Painter apologized to the victims.
Painter pled guilty to 87 counts of embezzlement on Jan. 9, 2020.
Earlier Lezlie Green, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, said an indictment dated December 2018 included 59 counts and an indictment dated February 2019 included 28 counts for a total of 87 counts. The time frame was Dec. 27, 2011 to Oct. 16, 2018. Painter worked as a bookkeeper for Creedle, Jones & Alga when the embezzlement occurred. She had private clients as well.
Prior to sentencing Greene testified for the prosecution saying he received a degree in forestry from NC State and moved to Virginia in 1993. He said he is a buyer and selling of timber. One company handles the logging side of the business and the other company handles the trucking side.
“I am in the woods and I hired Creedle, Jones and Alga as a bookkeeper working with Gwen Painter. That frees me from a desk job,” Greene said.
To read the entire article pick up the July 29, 2020 edition of the Brunswick Times-Gazette.