Bracey’s Simple Path To Riches

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - August 11, 2010

The path to riches is paved with gold and leads directly to the management office of a city parking garage.

It must be. All you have to do is witness the curious case of Gale Bracey. While the rest of us wrestle with our respective jobs and commensurate remuneration, Bracey was able to turn a fairly modest management gig into a high-six-figure money machine.

Bracey, 39, liked to live the good life. Unfortunately, she suffered from that terrible affliction of having champagne tastes on a beer budget. Not letting that pesky thing called “The Law” get in her way, she was able to siphon off almost a half-million dollars - $419,238 to be exact - from two employers in about three years. Yes, that amount is a bit shy of a half mil, so with her salary factored in, well, it’s close enough.


When her first employer, Republic Parking Northwest, fired her because of allegations that she was stealing, one would think she would have been content to take her take and take off. Nope. Standard Parking Corp. hired her with the assistance of a shadowy city official who assured her new employer that they would get a cushy contract if Bracey were brought on board. Sure enough, they did and they did. Running another commercial parking garage meant the cash faucet was turned back on.

Eventually, even Standard Parking Corp. couldn’t take it. It seemed that wherever Bracey worked, the till came up a bit short - according to court reports, about $15,000 a month short. After her arrest, one would think there would have been serious consequences for the theft of such a substantial amount of money.

Well ...

Let’s cut to the proverbial chase in this case. In a plea deal, Bracey pleaded guilty to four counts of theft of more than $20,000 and two counts of money laundering. Her attorney, Myles Breiner, asked Circuit Judge Randal Lee to defer her conviction so her record would be clean. His reasoning was Bracey would not be able to find gainful employment with a conviction on her record. Consequently, it would prevent her from paying restitution. Needless to say, Judge Lee said no.

But wait, there’s more.

In her defense, Breiner said that Bracey participated in her own prosecution. “She’s saved everyone a great deal of time and expense.” Huh?

But wait, there’s more.

The plea deal hinged on the defense claim that it was the city’s fault that Bracey was able to steal so much for so long. The city failed to act on information that the client was stealing and did not have procedures in place to prevent such chicanery.

But wait, there’s more.

Because of the plea deal, there’s no prison time. Bracey received five years’probation.

But wait, there’s more.

Judge Lee admonished Bracey, telling her she got a great deal and she shouldn’t blow it.

But wait, there’s more - the deal gets better. Bracey was ordered to pay restitution: $200 per month for 174 years. Yes, dear reader. You read right.

So here is the proven strategy to achieve financial success.

Get a management job at a city parking garage. Take almost $500,000 (salary plus “commission”). Get caught. Hire Myles Breiner. Get Randal Lee as your judge. Apologize and cry in court. Blame the employer for your thievery. Plead guilty. Get a deal: probation and no jail time. Pay back the money, interest free, over 174 years with a monthly payment of $200 a month. Move to Japan with your new husband.

Now, go get started and live the life of luxury only Hawaii can provide. You deserve it!

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