ACTON -- A former Holden woman has been convicted for stealing $81,000 from her previous employer in Acton through an embezzlement scheme launched in 2009.
Kathryn Copeland, 45, now of Riverview, Fla., pleaded guilty last week to two felony counts of larceny over $250, according to the Middlesex District Attorney's office. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Thomas Billings sentenced Copeland to two and half years in the House of Correction, one year to serve with the balance suspended for five years, and five years probation following her jail sentence. She was also ordered to pay $81,000 in restitution.
"This defendant hatched a scheme to steal from her employer, buying expensive electronics with company funds and then selling the items over the Internet," District Attorney Marian Ryan said. "This type of fraud is not a victimless crime. It affects businesses, honest employees, and customers. With this plea the defendant has taken responsibility for her actions and will now pay restitution for her theft."
According to authorities, Copeland was hired in 2006 as the office manager of the Acton office of Student Transportation of America (STA), a transportation company headquartered in New Jersey. As office manager, she was responsible for purchasing supplies, billing, and managing office personnel.
In February 2012, Copeland abruptly resigned, reporting to her colleagues that she had a medical issue and was moving to Florida. After her resignation, an STA accountant discovered Copeland had forged two checks.
In all, Copeland made approximately $81,000 worth of unauthorized purchases between May of 2009 and January of 2012, according to officials. The two suspicious checks had been forged to pay a credit card bill, in an attempt to cover up her illegal spending, the district attorney's office reported.
Following the Acton investigation, police arrested Copeland in Florida.
Follow Samantha Allen on Twitter and Tout @SAllen_89.