Criminal Justice

Ex-Lawyer is Accused of Shoplifting Michael Kors Handbag from Nordstrom

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A former Connecticut lawyer who served 15 months in prison for reportedly stealing about $500,000 from her former law firm and clients to help fund her lavish shopping sprees is in trouble again.

Elizabeth Zembko, 48, is now charged with shoplifting and burglary concerning two separate incidents over the past month, according to the Hartford Courant and the New Britain Herald.

Her current legal difficulties apparently began with a violation of probation charge in April, after she allegedly failed to make court-ordered restitution payments to her former clients for a year, according to the New Britain newspaper. Court papers say Zembko told her probation officer she couldn’t afford the 60 installments of $832, the newspaper reports, but she has already repaid her former New Britain law firm, Ericson, Scalise & Mangan as required.

Then, on May 4, Zembko was allegedly spotted by security personnel as she left a Nordstrom store at a Connecticut shopping mall with a $1,395 Michael Kors handbag that she hadn’t paid for, police told the New Britain newspaper. Police say they subsequently discovered two additional stolen, albeit considerably less expensive, handbags in Zembko’s car.

Although Zembko was put on house arrest in mid-May by New Britain Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander, she was arrested again by Farmington police on May 29 and charged with third-degree burglary and fifth-degree larceny after being accused of stealing $300 from a friend’s handbag, according to the two newspapers. It isn’t clear from the coverage, however, exactly when this claimed theft occurred.

Zembko was released from prison in 2007 after her conviction in the law firm and client theft case.

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