Judge sentences Kitsap consigment seller to jail time
March 11, 2009 · 10:29 AM
By JUSTINE FREDERICKSEN
Port Orchard Independent
Former consignment shop owner Alice S. Simpson, accused of stealing several thousand dollars worth of people’s valuables, including those belonging to several Bainbridge Island residents, will serve nearly a month in jail after being sentenced in Kitsap County Superior Court on Monday afternoon.
“There really should be punishment in jail for a crime of this nature,” said Judge Russell Hartman, explaining that he believed Port Orchard resident Charles McGuire’s account of how he gave Simpson a very valuable photograph to sell nearly two years ago but never received payment for it.
McGuire eventually reported the crime to the Port Orchard Police Department, which led to Simpson being charged with one count of first-degree theft.
After learning of her arrest, several more victims came forward with similar stories, said Deputy Prosecutor Jay Wilkinson.
Simpson pleaded guilty to the theft charge in January, and Wilkinson recommended she serve 25 days, saying he had no objection to her serving that time outside of jail.
Simpson is the former owner of the defunct consignment shop Great Estates, and was charged with theft last year after McGuire told the POPD that the defendant scammed him out of a $17,000 photograph.
At least three of Simpsons’ victims appeared in court Monday, though McGuire was the only one to address Judge Hartman.
Former Bainbridge Island resident Judy Harstone said she was also a victim of Simpson and filed a statement with Judge Hartman.
“Simpson clearly has established a pattern of preying on vulnerable people, many of whom had recently suffered the death of a parent or spouse ... and she betrayed that trust to the tune of many thousands of dollars,” Hartstone wrote. “She has demonstrated no remorse and has continued to steal people’s money and possessions with no compunction, and perhaps the time she spends in jail at the very least will serve to prevent additional victims for the duration of her incarceration.”
Hartman agreed that jail time was necessary. “I don’t think jail alternative is appropriate in this particular case,” he said, sentencing Simpson to 25 days in the Kitsap County Jail.
POPD Det. E.J. Martin began investigating claims and discovered that both Simpson and Great Estates had “a number of cases” filed against them, including one that was investigated by the Bainbridge Island Police Department in 2001 and included nine victims that accused Simpson of similar actions.
Martin said his office received “a number of complaints” from people claiming that their antiques or other valuable collectibles were taken to Simpson, but she failed to either compensate the owner or return the items.