ESCANABA - A restitution hearing regarding a kitchen stolen from a foreclosed home was cancelled Thursday when the bank decided to forego the court proceeding for the criminal case. A civil suit this fall already ruled the defendants pay the plaintiff more than $148,000.
Former Escanaba residents Donald George Smith, 47, and his wife, Sandra Kay Smith, 47, of Round Lake, Ill., were each sentenced Nov. 7 to 45 days in jail after being convicted of embezzling a custom-made kitchen from their foreclosed home in Escanaba in 2011.
The couple's lender, First Bank, decided not to pursue the restitution hearing originally scheduled for Thursday, then rescheduled for Jan. 3 in Delta County Circuit Court. The court was required by law to schedule a restitution hearing for the criminal case in case of a dispute between the two parties.
A civil suit - decided in October after the criminal conviction on Sept. 26 - ruled the Smiths pay the bank approximately $148,000 for the stolen property and court costs. Restitution in the criminal case would have represented similar lost costs and could not have been recovered twice.