Convicted accountant heads to jail

Woman gets 4-month embezzlement term

December 22, 2006|By Tyrone Richardson | Tyrone Richardson,Sun Reporter

A Columbia accountant who was convicted of embezzling $8,900 from a trade association, is scheduled today to begin a four-month jail sentence.

Circuit Judge Richard S. Bernhardt this week sentenced Maria Collazo to four years in prison, suspending all but four months to be served at the Howard County Detention Center.

Collazo, 45, of the 11000 block of Snowflake Court was indicted this year by a grand jury on charges of embezzling $8,900 from the National Association of Accountants for Cooperatives, a Fredericksburg, Va.-based nonprofit, according to court records.

The woman, who was treasurer of the association and worked from her home, wrote about 30 checks - from the organization's annual budget - to herself between May 28, 2003, to Sept. 26, 2006, prosecutors said.

Bernhardt also sentenced Collazo to five years of probation, to be served after her release, and he ordered her to pay back the $8,900 to the Virginia organization.

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