Priscilla Butler Spent the Million Her Mom Had Embezzled
The diners had been oddly cordial at the Coco’s in Mission Viejo, each replica louis vuitton a player in a bizarre crime story.
Around the table sat the financial officer for an Upland heater company defrauded of as cheap replica handbags much as $1.4 million; the 23 year old woman who blew most of it in Orange County’s toniest malls, art galleries and car dealerships, and her escorts for the day, two police detectives.
Her blond hair flowing down the back of a shirt stamped San Bernardino County Jail, Butler was sweetly doing her best to avoid her mother’s fate: five years in the slammer for stealing the fortune her daughter had spent during a 30 month shopping bender.
“It must be strange,” Butler says, looking across the table at her mother’s former boss, “buying dinner for the daughter of a woman who stole so much money from you.”
Then, in her closest stab at apology, she adds: “I suppose I should have wondered where my mom was getting that kind of money.”
When police moved in last summer, Butler, jobless and only 22, had managed to acquire a Mercedes, a Porsche, a Saab and a Jeep Cherokee; she also was only a day from closing escrow on a $488,500 house in Laguna Hills with limestone flooring and its own library. She had closets brimming with designer ball gowns and outfits, $1,000 address books Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags , receipts for a $10,000 party she threw for her 21st birthday, and $113,000 in decorator services and furnishings. Less than a month before her Aug. 22 arrest, Butler’s art filled home in Laguna Niguel had been featured aaa replica designer handbags in a Times story on interior decorating.
“Gluttonous consumption is the only way to describe it,” says Michele Elizalde Daly, the San Bernardino County deputy district attorney who has handled Butler’s case. “It offends my middle class values.
“This is a girl who would go in and buy four pairs of shoes for $1,200. She was spending thousands of dollars a day. She went into a dealership and plunked down the money for a $70,000 car. A 21 year old. No trade in. And she’s driving a Porsche? And nobody thought that was odd? I asked about this and they said: ‘Maybe it’s unusual in San Bernardino, but this is Orange County.’ ”
Throughout her spree, Butler says, she never wondered how her mother, an accounts payable clerk, was able to give her so much money. Although she admits only that perhaps she should have asked where all the dough came from, Butler pleaded high quality replica handbags china guilty last month to charges of receiving stolen property.
“My attorney said that only means I should have known it was stolen,” Butler stresses, “not that I did know. I don’t know why my mom did this. She must have really low self esteem.”
Hoping for leniency at her sentencing today, Butler has relinquished all rights to $200,000 in luxury cars and about $500,000 in designer clothes and furnishings.
A San Bernardino County judge, seeking some incentive replica designer handbags for Butler to return the stuff, said her guilty plea and help in recovering some of the victim’s losses might win her probation instead of hard time.
Concerned about the message that might send it’s OK to steal if, once caught, you give back the loot prosecutor Elizalde Daly says she’ll seek a prison term.
“I haven’t seen a bit of remorse www.dolabuy.su , nor has she taken any responsibility for this,” Elizalde Daly says. “We are just expected to believe that she never wondered where a million and a half bucks came from, like it wasn’t strange to have designer sheets and then go get them tailored. Or spend $3,000 on your desk top set. She spent $52,000 in one month and her mom answers the phone at work, accounts payable? Right.”
Riddled with dizzying excess and pathos, the tale of how mother and daughter ended up behind bars starts in a humble West Covina apartment, moves to middle class Chino Hills and winds up in the wealthier neighborhoods of south Orange County.
What first smacks of a story about a compulsive shopper trying to impress with wealth eventually looks more like the sad tale of two generations of women who, as Butler’s mom, Betty Jo Sutton Gibson, says of herself, “tried to buy love.”
Now imprisoned for grand theft at the state prison in Frontera, Sutton Gibson, 42, confessed the first day Upland detectives Jeff Mendenhall and Steve Adams confronted her last August at Scheu Manufacturing Co.
“We walked in,” Mendenhall recalls, “and she just looked relieved that it was all over.”
Other replica louis vuitton bags than her long blond hair, Sutton Gibson had little in common with her only child. She dressed plainly and cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk was a reserved and soft spoken accounts payable clerk at the heater maker a “loyal, good employee” and “the last person you would of suspected of doing this,” says Allyn Scheu, vice president of the 100 employee company founded in 1911 by 1:1 replica handbags his grandfather. Sutton Gibson believed insurance would not replace the car; she told investigators that’s when she altered the first of several Scheu Co. checks.
What began as a one time theft escalated into a regular pattern: Butler asked her mom fake designer bags for money and usually got it. At a later date, she would have Scheu officials sign new checks to the same vendors. She further covered her tracks by volunteering to pick up Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags the company mail, thereby intercepting the canceled altered checks.
Scheu concedes the company’s financial “checks and balances” eroded with misplaced trust in Sutton Gibson, who had worked several years for the family run company. She initially took about $10,000 a month.
“Ten thousand dollars a month is a lot of money,” Scheu admits, “but in our operation you’re not going to miss it when you don’t have (cross check) controls. I mean, if she’d kept to a smaller amount, she could’ve maintained the pace” undetected for some time.
With the proceeds 1:1 replica handbags from that first $10,000 check, Butler bought a Saab.
She and several roommates shared a spacious, Mediterranean style cul de sac home in Laguna Niguel, rented for $1,800 a month. The roommates later moved out, replaced by Butler’s 28 year old fiance aaa replica designer handbags , a salesman at a South Coast Plaza store; he declines comment. She dropped a wad on luggage alone mainly Louis Vuitton and Michael Cromer, whose address books go for $1,000.
The spending, prosecutor Elizalde Daly says, was so feverish, the purchases sometimes so seemingly thoughtless, that it could only be called a job in itself.
Investigators found closets stuffed with Size 4 outfits dripping with price tags. Butler seemed to favor Adrianne Vittadini, Ellen Tracy, Anne Klein and Donna Karan, although she left a Chanel suit worth several thousand dollars at a dry cleaner.