Marie Morey, a Lawrence courthouse accounting clerk, has pled guilty to charges of larceny of property over $250 and filing/publishing a false written report. The 38-year-old woman is accused of developing and running an embezzlement scam that allowed her to steal over $2 million from the Lawrence probation department.
The accounting clerk, who has a GED and no formal accounting training, is accused of embezzling $2,037,725.21 in restitution and fees and of manipulating bank deposits and records. She allegedly stole $12,000 a month for about 3 years.
The prosecution also says she recently traveled to the Dominican Republic 30 times-although Morey’s criminal defense lawyer says his client only visited the Dominican Republic 10 times, which she did to see her mother.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Patten claims that the accounting clerk employed six operation methods so that no one would notice that she was stealing money. In the spring, Morey told auditors that she hadn’t reconciled payments on a monthly basis since November 2008. She was also allegedly unable to provide them with key documents.
State auditors have expressed concern about the court’s accounting practices since 2007. The Probation Office was singled out in a report that said there was “limited assurance” that the department’s records were accurate or that funds were properly protected.
Morey, who is the mother of two minors, worked as the court accounting clerk for 19 years. If convicted, she could serve a maximum five-year jail sentence.
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to steal someone else’s property and depriving the victim of its use or ownership. Larceny of property valued at over $250 is considered grand larceny, which is a felony crime. The punishment if a defendant is convicted is harsh.
Clerk held in sophisticated $2m theft, Boston.com, December 4, 2009
Being held accountable: Prosecutor says paper trail led to courthouse clerk accused of stealing $2M, EagleTribune, December 4, 2009
Related Web Resource:
The Massachusetts Court System
An experienced Boston larceny defense lawyer can defend you against this criminal charge.