The bestselling novelist, whose books have sold 550 million copies worldwide, was left out of pocket after her former aide Kristy Watts embezzled $768,000 (£512,000) from her.
In September (09), Watts, who worked for Steel from 1993 to 2008, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion after cashing cheques in Steel's name and using the writer's credit cards.
On Tuesday (20Apr10) she was handed a sentence of two years and nine months in jail by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker.
Watts has already paid $969,752 (£646,501) back to Steel, who filed a civil lawsuit against her last year (09), and she was ordered to reimburse the government more than $60,000 (£40,000) in taxes. Watts must also carry out 400 hours of community service as part of her sentence, reports the San Fransisco Chronicle.
The bestselling author, whose books have sold 550 million copies worldwide, was left out of pocket after her former aide Kristy Watts fleeced her for $400,000 (£266,000).
In September (09), Watts pleaded guilty in federal court of cashing cheques in Steel's name, as well as using the writer's credit cards.
She worked for Steel from 1993 to 2008, when she was accused of fraud and tax evasion.
Watts will be sentenced on 4 February 2010.
Looks like the rumored Anakin Skywalker shortlist just got a little shorter.
Daily Variety columnist Michael Fleming reports today that someone -- make that, some actor -- is close to being named the next Anakin Skywalker (aka the future Darth Vader) by "Star Wars" guru George Lucas.
And that someone, according to the Fleming report, is none other than one Hayden Christensen.
Who the heck, you ask, is Hayden Christensen?
The fact that no one can recall what the 19-year-old Canadian-born actor looks like notwithstanding, Christensen has been, so to speak, grinding it out in Hollywood since the mid 1990s, consigned to doing less-than-memorable TV series.
His resume includes parts in 1995's "Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story" (yippee!), 1996's tube adaptation of romance-maven Danielle Steel's "No Greater Love" (wahoo!) and the recent Fox Family Channel series "Higher Ground."
Relative anonymity or no, getting cast (or being rumored to be cast) as Anakin in "Star Wars: Episode II" is just the type of thing that can bestow instant celebrity.
Christensen's camp has been bombarded with calls seeking comments today, we were told (when we, um, bombarded Christensen's camp with a call.) But here was something interesting: In addition to the usual brush-off, we were told to redirect our inquiries to the "Star Wars" headquarters that is LucasFilm.
And as of now, we're still waiting for them to call back.
Of course, Christensen is not the first name to be associated with the role. Other rumored Anakin candidates in the past have included "Dawson's Creek's" Joshua Jackson and James Van Der Beek, "American Beauty's" Wes Bentley, "General Hospital's" Jonathan Jackson, "American Pyscho" star Christian Bale and Tom Hanks' son Colin Hanks.