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Bookkeeper sentenced for stealing $600,000 from employer

May 28, 2021 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — The former bookkeeper of a seafood company who embezzled almost $600,000 from her employer to pay personal bills has been sentenced to 18 months behind bars, federal prosecutors said in a statement Friday.

Kara Howland, 37, of New Bedford, was also sentenced in federal court in Boston on Thursday to two years of probation and was ordered to pay restitution of almost $780,000.

Howland embezzled the money between January 2016 and December 2019 by writing checks from her employer’s bank accounts to pay her credit card bills, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston.

She then altered the company’s internal accounting records to make it appear as if the checks were paid to legitimate vendors, prosecutors said.

She also did not report or include the funds that she embezzled on her federal income tax filings, resulting in a tax loss of more than $180,000, prosecutors said.

Howland pleaded guilty in February to bank fraud and filing a false tax return.