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Woman imprisoned for stealing $195,000 from North Tonawanda company

Woman imprisoned for stealing $195,000 from North Tonawanda company

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Melissa S. Wendt, a Cambria woman with a history of embezzling money from her employers, was sentenced Thursday to 1½ to three years in state prison for stealing $195,183.97 from Audubon Machinery Corp. in North Tonawanda.

Wendt, 52, who was the corporate controller, stole the money between December 2018 and January 2020 and pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny.

Melissa Wendt

Melissa S. Wendt, seen in a 2015 mugshot, taken when she was using the married name Melissa Kwoka.

According to Niagara County Assistant District Attorney David DeChellis, State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. issued a judgment requiring Wendt to repay the money after her release from prison.

A prison sentence was mandatory because Wendt is a repeat felon. In 2013, she was convicted of stealing $102,733 while working as an accountant as a Planned Parenthood office in Erie County. She was sentenced to one to three years in prison after violating probation rules.

She also was fired from a job in the City of Lockport Building Inspection Department in 2002 for stealing $212 from the office.

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