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Posted on Wed, May 9, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

Woman accused of embezzling $250,000 can't afford attorney

By John Counts

Janice Molden.jpg

Janice Molden

This story has been updated to add that charges against Oral Molden have been dropped.

The Lima Township woman accused of embezzling $250,000 from A2 Auto Glass last year was appointed a public defender when she appeared Wednesday in the Washtenaw County Trial Court.

Janice Lee Molden, 45, came before Judge Archie Brown with her defense attorney, Joseph Simon. She said she can no longer afford to pay him.

“I can’t afford to pay for him any longer,” she told the judge.

Brown granted the motion and appointed Molden an attorney, Assistant Washtenaw County Public Defender Laura Dudley.

There was also a pretrial conference set for 1:30 p.m. July 18.

“This has been pending at the district court for a long time,” said Dudley.

In fact, Wednesday’s hearing came almost a year to the day Molden was arraigned the embezzlement charges. On May 7, 2011, Molden was charged with embezzling $100,000 or more, embezzling $25,000 or more, embezzling more than $999 but less than $20,000 and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

That same day, Molden’s husband, Oral Molden, 47, was charged with embezzling $20,000 or more.

The charge against Oral Molden was dismissed at a preliminary examination on April 24 because there was insufficient evidence to bind it over to circuit court, according to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office.

Janice Molden is accused of embezzling the money from the auto glass company where she worked as a bookkeeper in Scio Township over a period of three-and-a-half years.

She remains free on a personal recognizance bond.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, May 11, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

MAN IS A MORAL BEING : I claim that man or woman is constituted to exist as a moral and spiritual being. A Court of Law may decide upon the guilt or innocence of an individual using the evidence it views. It is not a surprise to hear that some innocent people get punished for crimes they may not have committed and similarly, some guilty escape punishment. The fact of man being a moral and spiritual being is determined by the Biological Science and not by a Court of Law. A verdict rendered by a Judge will not alter this reality of man's moral and spiritual nature. I divide man into two categories;1. The Self that establishes man as a physical, mental, and social being, and 2. The Knowing-Self that establishes man as a moral and spiritual being. The Knowing-Self is the Knower of the human body and knows the thoughts and actions of the human person. The Judge may or may not discover the truth and fact of a person's conduct, the truth is always known to The Knowing-Self. I submit, that I can get away from punishment, or I may get punished unjustly, but there is no escape from truth and reality of man's actions in this physical world as there is always a Knowing-Self that knows the truth and falsity of our actions.


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 10:45 a.m.

They learned from Kwami Kilpatrick! He, who jets between Texas and Michigan to sell his book and lives in a $400,000 house in Texas, can't afford his legal TEAM either so the people of Michigan pay for his legal TEAM, too. Gosh, Michigan is such a wonder state for the "poor" and "needy."


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

" Roadman" , a far too frequent contributer to this site and others, will no doubt take this case arguing embezzlement is a " protected by the first amendment" form of personal expression... after he's done the same on even creepier cases.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

i meant 'after all"...

Daring girl

Thu, May 10, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

Here are additional facts needed to allow the public a view inside the workings of this case. If you were a business owner in trouble because an employee had started refusing you're questionable "business practices: what would you lower yourself to. I was a witness to the following: In the case of Oral Molden the judge specifically stated there were no charges to be brought as he felt the IT analyst had submitted legitimate invoices. The statements from the District Attorneys office are misleading and false. Mr. Molden was cleared of all charges. There is on record a 2006 agreement that was made between Jim Balcom and the IRS that blamed his dead partner who had not reported cash receipts and income, and remained without prosecution. It is fact according to court record and witness statements that Mr.Balcom pays his employees cash under the table as he confessed in the hearings. He also admitted he did so because he couldn't afford to pay taxes, which is an admission of tax evasion yet again. Mr. Balcom repeatedly recanted on statements that he did not remember, until the Judge brought his attention to previous statements of yes he had seen the receipts paid out and did remember. A second witness was questioned as to having access to company credit cards and lied saying no but on further questioning admitted she did indeed and that she had received checks made out to her for her husband who was not under payroll and did not work A-2 AUTO. 2:15pm Washtenaw county court Ypsilanti Mich. This family has endured the worst humiliations and financial devistation I know. This is as all businss professors will tell you what happens to whistle blowers every time. God bless.


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

Amen. Do these posters not scare you? They are the people who complain about incomplete reporting etc....and yet, are ready to jump on the accused without knowing anything other than the teaser headlines and a sketchy article. Thanks for adding some detail.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 11:49 p.m.

Sounds like Uncle Jim has some splainin to do.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 10:04 p.m.



Thu, May 10, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

"....In fact, Wednesday's hearing came almost a year to the day Molden was arraigned the embezzlement charges. On May 7, 2011" Why do the wheels of justice grind so slowly? Why does it take so long to get a conviction? It just seems dumb to let them be free on bond for more then a year... then send them to the slammer. Their greed (yeah, I'm assuming guilt) jeopardized many families. "Embezzlement" is far from a victimless crime.

Bertha Venation

Thu, May 10, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

I apologize, but I don't understand the "news" here. She was appointed a public defender, right? Isn't this part of the Miranda process? "If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you." Guess I don't get it.


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 10:25 a.m.

Of course the whole point of the article is to ridicule the person accused of stealing money and then saying they do not have any money for a lawyer. Clearly we need hits on this site again this month. And it seems to have worked.....lots of posts sure the woman is guilty and horrified that she gets a public defender. sometimes I just shake my head.....


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

She retained one of Ann Arbor's most prominent attorney, Joe Simon. She didn't want to dip into her stash to continue to pay him. By the way, Laura Dudley, is also a great attorney. As a retired probation officer, I hate to say any attorney is good.LOL


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

This is what happens when a small business owner wants to be the big shot and stay at home or do whatever while someone else does his job. Ann Arbor Glass is not a huge company. Why can't the business owner do his own books? Silly. This. She probably took a lot more than they will ever realize and more than 250 large.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

I run my own business too and I am in control of my operations and no one is stealing cash from me. The fish stinks from the head down. Always has, always does.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

I know the business owner (he is my uncle) and he is in his 60's and owns a number of other businesses. You know, capitalism? Maybe you should stick to thing you know something about, possibly lightning?


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

All things are possible with Money : It is interesting to note that we need money to defend our innocence. It could be a good lesson to people whom may want to steal money. They may have to plan ahead and leave money in a trust account that could be only used if they need to prove their innocence in a court of law. Only a judge must be authorized to operate the trust funds as needed. May be, we should ask the employer to make contributions to such trust funds just like the Social Security contributions that employers make.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

No one thinks they'll get caught


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

@Greg: You do not know the difference between sentencing of someone found guilty and the mechanisms we use to make sure a suspect appears for trial (detainment and bond)?


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

This is a bad joke. You can get time in prision for smoking pot and harming nobody, but steal hundreds of thousands and stay out on bond... What a system.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

Wait....what did I miss here???? She was already found guilty by the court of posters of So much for the American system of justice.


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 10:27 a.m.

Or maybe someone else did it. Or maybe this couple did it. Or maybe the owner or a relative did it and they are covering. Get the point? Please never get on a jury.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

That's right, maybe they just misplaced the money by accident.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

I predict probation and $10 per month paybacks. Embezzlers rarely get punished appropriately.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 9:31 a.m.

The clawback will go after embezzled funds spent on ... attorneys!


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 3:40 a.m.

I guess her attorney wouldn't accept an IOU.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 1:57 a.m.

Of course they cannot afford an attorney. If they hired their own, that would mean they would have to dig up the money they stole in order to afford private counsel.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

They both remain free on bond? I don't get it. What happened to all the money they took from the company?


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

Are they a flight risk? Are they a danger to the community? That's all that really matters for bail. The issue of the whereabouts of the money may come into play at trial or a plea negotiation.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

A couple that steals together........ I feel sorry for the glass company, embezzlement is still taken too lightly by the courts and it is doubtful they will recoup all their losses.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.

I am not so sure embezzlement is taken too lightly. Jail sentences and restitution orders are not unusual.


Thu, May 10, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

I also feel sorry for the company. If they're found guilty, it just makes common sense that they would need to liquidate anything they currently own to repay all they've wrongfully stolen, but.... for some reason things just don't work that way.

Ricardo Queso

Wed, May 9, 2012 : 11:49 p.m.

The defense is shattered.