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Ex-celebrity account manager charged with stealing from clients

April 11, 2012 |  6:46 pm

A former account manager for a Los Angeles financial services firm pleaded not guilty Wednesday to  charges she stole more than $4.6 million over nearly six years from 16 clients, including dancer Debbie Allen; relationship consultant Barbara De Angelis; actresses Mariette Hartley and Peggy Lipton Jones; and futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard.

Diane Schumacher, 58, was arrested earlier in the day by Los Angeles police officers and arraigned in the afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. The criminal complaint includes two allegations of “excessive taking,” which refers to the dollar amount of the thefts and carries a higher penalty.

According to the district attorney’s office, Schumacher stole from clients while employed by Keepers Financial Corp., a company that offers bookkeeping and bill payment services, between 2003 and 2009. The money was discovered missing during an audit of the accounts managed by Schumacher and ranges from about $22,000 to more than $690,000 from her various clients, authorities said.

If convicted as charged, Schumacher faces more than 22 years in prison.


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-- Thomas Curwen