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Mar 10,2009
Former Saks' saleswoman found guilty
by UPI

NEW YORK - Prosecutors in New York say a former saleswoman for Saks Fifth Avenue has been convicted of pocketing $48,000 in bogus commissions.

Cecille Villacorta, 52, was Saks' top sales associate and made $27 million in jewelry sales between 2000 and 2006, The New York Post reported Tuesday.

A jury in Manhattan Monday acquitted Villacorta of stealing $1.4 million from the Fifth Avenue department store, but convicted her of larceny in taking $48,000 in ill-gotten commissions, the Post reported.

"I feel numb," Villacorta said as she was escorted from the courtroom by her lawyers, who said she faces up to seven years in prison but likely would get probation.

Villacorta was accused of ringing up $1.4 million in fake sales and returns for more than 200 customers, The New York Daily News reported.

Prosecutors said Villacorta never saw the $1.4 million but gave it away to her best customers as credit-card rebates to build good will, the News reported. Villacorta's lawyers said they plan to appeal the verdict.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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