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'Sex and checks' case goes to court; assistant charged with embezzling $170K

Published 1:41 pm, Tuesday, December 27, 2011
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NORWALK -- A 28-year-old West Hartford woman was arraigned Thursday, charged with embezzling nearly $170,000 worth of checks and credit cards charges used to pay for a lavish lifestyle of shopping sprees, romantic getaways to Nantucket and a trip to Aspen, Colo.

Helen Kapoutsos, 28, was charged with first-degree larceny and appeared in court Dec. 22 after not posting a $250,000 bond. Kapoutsos was arrested on a New Canaan police warrant after being extradited from the Bristol County House of Corrections in North Darthmouth, Mass. She was extradited after Massachusetts police ran the plates on her Porsche Boxster and notified New Canaan police.

Kapoutsos' employer went to New Canaan police in September to complain that his personal assistant had written scores of checks and made many more credit card purchases without his permission, her arrest warrant affidavit states.

At the time, he figured she may have stolen as much as $150,000.

Kapoutsos denied the allegation, saying she was a highly paid escort and only paid herself for things she had purchased because her employer's credit card had been turned down numerous times.

Kapoutsos said her employer met her at a Manhattan strip club and hired her in April 2010. He would pay her $2,600 per month for 20 hours of work per week. Her job was to purchase day-to-day household requirements as well as taking care of the family and other daily tasks associated with being an assistant, the affidavit said.

When pressed by police about the huge amounts of checks -- up to $4,200 -- made payable to her, Kapoutsos said she would write herself checks for her "services and time," with the permission of her employer, the affidavit said.

Kapoutsos said when she spent the day with her employer -- sometimes in the company of his fiancee -- she would be paid $1,200 per day; if she spent the day and night, she would be paid $2,000.

In April 2011, she paid herself $16,000 for "extra time," the affidavit said.

Kapoutsos said she would have sex regularly with her employer and his fiancee.

When police brought the sexual allegation to the employer's attention, the man admitted he and his fiancee did have sex with her a handful of times, but many fewer than Kapoutsos alleged.

He said he did not tell police of the sex because he was embarrassed, but he was willing to go forward with the complaint even if further embarrassment would result. He denied ever paying Kapoutsos for sex.

After tallying the checks and credit card charges, police said Kapoutsos spent $169,162.25 of her employer's money without permission, the warrant states. According to New Canaan police, $45,000 was charged alone on two credit cards while the rest were all check transactions.

At state Superior Court in Norwalk following her arraignment, Kapoutsos' attorney Frank Bevilacqua said he was certain that "everything can be sorted out."

Kapoutsos' case was transferred to the Part A Docket at state Superior Court in Stamford, where the most serious cases in the area are adjudicated. She is to appear there Dec. 27.

--Paresh Jha contributed to this report