Former mall managers sentenced to two years suspended prison time

A Juneau couple charged with theft after leaving their jobs as managers of the Airport Mini-Mall and Apartments was sentenced in Juneau Superior Court on Thursday.

Two-years in prison with two-years suspended (no time to serve) was handed down to Cheryl Hansen, 67, and Paul Hansen, 63. The sentence was part of an earlier plea agreement with prosecutors. The Hansens changed their pleas to guilty to reduced charges of second degree felony theft in February.

The couple started work as managers of the Airport Mini-Mall and Apartments in 2001. Cheryl did the bookkeeping and Paul did the maintanence in exchange for a $1000 monthly stipend and use of a two bedroom house with paid utilities. Prosecutors have said that owners of the Mall discovered at least $68,870 in rent deposits were missing after the Hansens left their employment in June 2010.

The Hansens reportedly acknowledged to officers that the deposits had not been made. They claimed they had the funds, but a search by officers of the Hansen’s belongings could not locate the money.

A restitution hearing is planned for July. They will be required to pay back the money as part of their three-year probation.

Public defender Grace Lee says approximately $14,000 in rent checks has already been found stashed in a box of Christmas decorations placed in storage. It’s unclear if any of those checks are “viable” or can be deposited.

Both Cheryl and Paul Hansen read in court separate letters of apology intended for owners of the mall. They both suggested that deterioriating mental and physical health issues led to the misplacement of deposits. Cheryl Hansen also said that she was lenient with some tenants who could not pay rent because of a hardship.

When some of the mall’s co-owners left the courthouse on Thursday, they separately told the Hansens that they accepted thier apology and forgave them.

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