Lawrenceville, GA - A former paralegal at a Lawrenceville law firm is facing dozens of charges after she's accused of stealing from the estates of the deceased.
Anna Schlinkert worked a decade for Andrew, Merritt, Reilly and Smith but is now charged with stealing nearly $150,000 from the estates of more than 40 people that the firm handled over the past three years.
“She proceeded to pay her own bills from these estates,” says Lawrenceville Police Det. Darya James.
Schlinkert has been charged with forgery, theft by taking, and financial exploitation since one of the accounts was a special needs trust set up for a disabled adult. She’s also accused of stealing and cashing checks from the law firm’s mail.
“I only took 73 warrants; I probably could have another 30 or 40 warrants,” says James.
A forensic audit conducted by law firm uncovered the theft.
Attorney Steve Rilley says Schlinkert was a respected, long-time employee they never thought capable of such a crime.
“We’re disappointed this would have with one of our employees and certainly nothing we ever expected,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Rilley says none of the families will be out the money since the law firm has insurance for such a situation.