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Identity thief who worked as housekeeper sentenced to prison

A housekeeper who admitted to stealing the identities of four of her employers to falsify checks to herself was sentenced Wednesday to two to four years in prison on each count.

Kimberly Leonard, 43, of Gasport previously pleaded guilty to identity theft for making out stolen checks to herself using her employers’ personal information. She also was accused of pilfering jewelry, clothing, gift cards and other items from the homes she was cleaning.

She was arrested after several families who employed her in Clarence went to police. The thefts reportedly took place in December and January.

Defense attorney Robert Johnson asked State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang for leniency for his client because her mother is currently battling cancer, but Wolfgang pointed to Leonard’s previous felony conviction, incarceration and probation in denying the lawyer’s request. The judge also referred to letters she received from two of Leonard’s victims.

“Both of these people feel very betrayed. They want a sentence that would make her learn her lesson,” Wolfgang said. “One says that they treated her like a friend and that ‘she took complete advantage of our family.’”

The exact value of the items and checks stolen has not been released. Wolfgang declined to order restitution, pointing out that Leonard has no funds and would be unable to pay it.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Jurusik prosecuted the case.