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Wife, Husband Charged In $1M Embezzlement

MIDLAND (WWJ/AP) - A woman who worked for a Midland dentist is accused of stealing approximately $1 million.

Stephanie Cieslinski and her husband, Ken, have been charged with six felonies in Midland County court. Ken Cieslinski was arrested Monday after he finished his shift as an officer at the county jail.

Midland County Prosecutor Michael D. Carpenter said Stephanie Cieslinski stole nearly $1 million over a decade from her employer, Midland dentist Dr. Michael Smith.

"This is a woman who systematically stole over a million, or close to a million, from someone who trusted her over a 10-year period," Carpenter said in court. "This is someone who is out of control regarding her spending."

Defense attorney Robert Dunn says he was shocked that Cieslinski's husband was charged. But authorities say the stolen money was put into a bank account with his name. Photos show Ken Cieslinski making at least two deposits.

Detectives were investigating the couple for over a year and a half before charges were sought.

Ken Cieslinski is charged with two counts of embezzlement by an agent or trust between $1,000 and $20,000, a five-year felony.

Stephanie Cieslinski is charged with two counts each of embezzlement of $100,000 or more, and embezzlement of between $50,000 and $100,000. The charge of pilfering $100,000 is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Bond for each Cieslinski was set at $500,000 cash-surety. Their next court date is pending.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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