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Mercer Island interior designer guilty of theft

An interior designer who cashed four checks of a client with the understanding that furniture would be purchased was found guilty of theft in the first degree on Wednesday.

Colleen S. Malek, of Malek Design, had been working for the victim, a Medina resident, for 3½ years.

The victim reportedly wrote four separate checks to the designer for furniture items to be purchased, according to Medina Police. Each written check was a 50 percent deposit on the purchased items, totaling nearly $15,000. The remainder of the balances would be paid once the items were shipped.

All four checks were cashed, yet the victim never received any of the furniture. Eventually, she contacted the companies where each item was supposedly ordered, and not one of them had any record of orders placed.

Sentencing for Malek is set for Nov. 1.

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