Woman a compulsive shopper, lawyer says

Associated Press

BELLEVUE — A woman accused of embezzling $3.7 million from Starbucks is a compulsive shopper, her lawyer says.

Lawyers for Rosemary Heinen and her husband Jerry Heinen offered a tour of the couple’s tan, two-story home on Monday. The home is packed with merchandise, much of it unopened, and is so cluttered it is almost impossible to enter some rooms.

Hundreds of boxes of jewelry, three Steinway pianos, 28 vehicles, a boat and several satellite dishes were among the items Heinen bought.

Starbucks has filed a lawsuit accusing the couple of theft.

Rosemary Heinen went to work for Starbucks last November. Her duties included reviewing and approving invoices.

The company alleges she and her husband created a bogus firm, RAD Consulting Services Inc., and charged Starbucks for services that were not provided.

The couple were arrested last month and later released. No criminal charges have been filed, but police are still investigating.

Stephan Illa, Rosemary Heinen’s lawyer, said she is mentally ill.

"This is someone who is getting a rush out of buying something, and then it’s not opened," he said. "How do you explain buying something and then letting it pile up until you choke on it?"

David Taylor, a lawyer for Starbucks, said being obsessive-compulsive is no excuse.

"She took the money, so she owes it to Starbucks," he said.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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