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Crime & Courts

Embezzler's daughter loses lawsuit

The daughter of a woman who embezzled more than $1 million from a La Salle construction company has been ordered to pay back some of the ill-gotten money to the company.

JB Contracting filed suit in October 2016 against Christopher and Ashia (Steinbach) Kolodziej, claiming they accepted about $290,000 that Ashia's mother, Connie Steinbach, stole while working for the company. Steinbach, 60, went to prison in 2015; she paroles in May 2019.

According to the lawsuit, Steinbach used the stolen money to pay Ashia's debts, particularly credit cards, and to buy gifts for Ashia. At a court hearing last week, Circuit Judge Joseph Hettel ruled in favor of JB Contracting, directing Ashia to pay $288,618 back to the company. The suit remains pending against Ashia's husband.

Ashia, 31, was also criminally charged with accepting money from her mother, knowing it was stolen. She denied such knowledge, went to trial in September 2016 and was found not guilty. Christopher was not charged.

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