Jennifer Larocca and her husband, Frank, used Frank’s status as Piscopo’s bookkeeper to write themselves checks for a total of $234,500. The parents of three children—all under age eight—they said they’d been going through personal hardships and required a little extra cash.
Frank was sentenced to three years in state prison last week. But Jennifer will only serve three years’ probation, according to prosecutors.
“I wish to apologize to the victim J.P. and his family, who no doubt have suffered the most here,” Jennifer said in a letter to the court, according to the Daily Record. “I just want them to know my husband and I were suffering from personal and family hardships at the time which clouded my judgment and overcame my will.”
She did not appear to elaborate on the hardships. Jennifer’s attorney did not return a request for comment.
Jennifer pleaded guilty in February to taking between $500 and $75,000 from Piscopo. While it was Frank who was employed by Piscopo to help pay his bills, Jennifer admitted she herself made out checks for personal expenses with Piscopo’s money, NJ.com reported. The couple stole money from the comedian over the course of four years.
Frank pleaded guilty one week later. While prosecutors supported Jennifer’s no-jail-time plea, they asked for Frank to be sentenced to three years behind bars. The judge agreed, but Frank may get out after just a few months under a new intensive supervision program that will allow him to serve the rest of his time on parole.
Piscopo starred on SNL from 1980 to 1984, where he was best known for his Frank Sinatra impressions. He now hosts a radio show on AM970. The star didn’t comment on the sentences on his Twitter account, and his representatives did not return a request for comment.
Despite the comedian’s hands-off approach, Judge Thomas Critchley didn’t mince words when handing down Jennifer’s sentence, and warned the mother that she wouldn’t get another chance if she landed back in court.
“At the end of the day, the economic relationship between the members of our community, our trust in each other, our ability to live a reasonably cultivated and healthy life depends on the economic life of individuals in the community,” he said. “So my long-winded point is it’s a substantial theft and it should not be repeated.”
As part of their plea deal, Jennifer and Frank agreed to pay back the full sum they stole from Piscopo. They’ve paid back $64,000 to date, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m happy that my husband and I have an opportunity to make amends and pay J.P. back, although it will be slow and we will struggle doing so,” Jennifer wrote in her letter to the court. “I wish to thank J.P. and the prosecutors for agreeing to let me serve my sentence outside of jail. If that is in fact the case I will be able to take care of my children.”