Judge approves diversionary program for woman accused of stealing ex’s check
Update: According to the state's attorney, the charges against Heather Dial were dismissed.
NORWALK — A New Canaan woman charged with larceny was accepted for an accelerated rehabilitation program despite protests from her ex-husband from whom she allegedly stole a check.
If accelerated rehabilitation — a pretrial diversionary program — is completed, the criminal charges are dismissed and removed from record.
Heather Dial, 47, of New Canaan, was arrested June 2 and charged with second-degree forgery and first-degree larceny after her ex-husband called police on May 11 to report a missing check for $88,917.26 he thought had been sent to an old address. Mail at that address was being forwarded to his ex-wife’s home on Juniper Road.
Police obtained a search warrant for her bank records where they found she’d made a deposit for that amount on May 4. Police said nearly all of the money had since been withdrawn and was unaccounted for.
At a Jan. 18 appearance in Norwalk Superior Court, Heather Dial’s attorney, Audrey Felsen, argued the cashing of the check was a mistake and Heather Dial thought the check was for money she was entitled to in her divorce decree. But in a statement, her ex-husband, William Dial, said the money was used to buy luxury items.
“This was not a mistake,” William Dial said. “I’m 99 percent confident she would've never said a word.”
William Dial said putting his name on the check was “deliberate” on his ex-wife’s part and part of a series of malicious acts on her behalf since their divorce. At the time he filed the complaint with the New Canaan Police Department, William Dial provided police a photocopy of the check where his name was forged.
He also accused his former spouse of putting fraudulent charges on his debit card, threatening him and his new girlfriend and breaking into his home.
“Since the beginning of the divorce, she’s been all about the money,” he said.
William Dial urged the court to deny his ex-wife’s application for accelerated rehab, saying he thinks she’ll continue to commit crimes in the future.
“She’s not been held accountable for her actions for years,” he said.
Two days after her arrest for larceny, on June 4, Heather Dial was arrested again for disorderly conduct following a domestic dispute at her Juniper Road home. In 2012, she was also charged with driving under the influence.
William Dial’s attorney, Neal Rogan, argued Heather Dial’s actions were part of an ongoing dispute between the former spouses that has been going on for years. He told the presiding judge, Alex Hernandez, that Heather Dial’s offer to pay her ex-husband back was not sufficient.
“It’s the same as if someone robbed a bank then called and said ‘OK if I bring back the cash?’” Rogen said.
However, Felsen said she’s made multiple attempts to return the funds to the victim and said her client had turned the funds over to her when she realized the error she made in cashing the check.
“She’s 47 years old,” Felsen said. “She has absolutely no record and she’s well past the stage where she’ll need to interact with Mr. Dial.”
Hernandez ultimately granted the request, banning both parties from contacting each other unless they were texting about their children.
“It’s clear to me there’s a lot of tension,” he said. “I can understand why.”