Ariz. man wins millions in casino, allows wife to pay off theft fine

By Bryan Cohen | May 2, 2012


PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced on Wednesday that his office has secured over $360,000 in restitution from a Phoenix woman who has owed the money since a 2007 felony theft conviction.

Kimberly Lemke was ordered to pay restitution to multiple elderly victims following a scheme that netted close to $370,000 and led to her 2007 conviction. Lemke's husband recently won millions at a local casino, allowing the office to collect $361,184.76. Lemke had only paid partial restitution up to that point.

The large sum of money was made available to Lemke after her husband won $5.7 million in mid-April at Casino Arizona located near Scottsdale. Assistant Attorney General Charles Johnson learned of the windfall and filed a racketeering-restitution lien against the winnings with the Secretary of State's Office and the Maricopa County Recorder. The lien was served to Lemke on Friday. Lemke responded to Johnson the following day, confirming that the lien was received and that she would completely pay it off.

"This case has a happy ending because of an unexpected windfall," Horne said. "I want to recognize the hard work of our attorneys and our victims' rights advocates to ensure that the victims in this matter finally received the full restitution they deserved."

Lemke was sentenced in 2007 to 3.75 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections followed by a probationary period of seven years. Lemke was in arrears on payments for restitution during the greater part of her probation.

Horne's office found out about the gambling winnings when the daughter of one of the defendant's victims called the Office of Victim Services. She told the restitution advocate that Lemke had been named as the wife of the winner on television.

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