General Crime

* Clay Prescott pleaded guilty to theft or embezzlement from an elder or dependent adult and Teresa Prescott pleaded guilty to grand theft

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A Mill Valley couple who pleaded guilty to embezzling at least $200,000 from their Sausalito yacht brokerage clients were sentenced to five years probation and eight months in the Marin County jail Tuesday.Clay Prescott, 65, pleaded guilty to theft or embezzlement from an elder or dependent adult and misappropriation of another person’s property and his wife Teresa, 49, pleaded guilty to grand theft in January.Marin County Chief District Attorney Kathryn Mitchell said the probation term prohibits the couple from acting as brokers and the amount of restitution they owe their clients is still to be determined.Clay Prescott faced a maximum of five years and eight months and Teresa Prescott faced up to four years in prison as part of their plea, the Marin County District Attorney’s Office said.Teresa Prescott’s attorney Anthony Lowenstein said the Prescott’s have already repaid one-quarter of the estimated $200,000 they embezzled.Lowenstein said the couple ran a reputable business over the past two decades but went into arrears during the recent poor economy.”They always intended to pay the money back,” Lowenstein said Wednesday afternoon.The Prescotts must turn themselves in at the county jail June 21.Sausalito police said the five known victims who wanted the Prescotts to sell their yachts lived in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The losses at the time of the couple’s arrest in July were estimated between $250,000 and $300,000, police said.The investigation of the couple’s finances began in April 2009 when the first victim reported the Prescotts brokered the sale of his sailboat and paid him with a $144,000 check from an account containing insufficient funds, police said.Sausalito police Capt. John Rohrbacher said last year the couple was paying previous victims of yacht sales with money made from recent sales and were “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

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