LOCKPORT – A former employee of the Rite Aid pharmacy on Lincoln Avenue in Lockport, who stole cash and drugs from the store last year, said at her sentencing Friday that she did it because she was the victim of “blackmail.”
“I’m rolling my eyes, for the record,” Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said in response to the claim by Jeannine M. Lapaglia, 45, of Lincoln Avenue. She was placed on five years’ probation for her fourth-degree grand larceny plea and ordered to repay $1,458 to the store at a rate of at least $50 a month.
Defense attorney Victor Orzechowski said a family member, “in the nature of an extortion situation,” pressured her to steal pills from the store between April and August of last year. Lapaglia also stole money because of her own financial difficulties, said Orzechowski, who said he didn’t want to discuss details in open court.
Farkas said she wants Lapaglia working so she can pay restitution. “I’ll tell you what, though: one screw-up and you go to jail,” the judge warned.