Woman gets 7 years in embezzlement case

CRIME WATCH

July 03, 2008

A 45-year-old Baltimore woman was sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday for embezzling more than $181,000 from a Columbia printing company where she worked for 19 years, according to the Howard County state's attorney's office.

Margie E. Matthews of the 3400 block of 6th St. in Brooklyn pleaded guilty in March to stealing from Brown and Associates Inc. Matthews worked as a bookkeeper and receptionist for 19 years for the small family-owned firm.

In announcing the sentence, Howard County Circuit Judge Lenore R. Gelfman called the crime "insidious," according to prosecutors.

Matthews stole from her employer 114 times, writing fraudulent checks to herself, according to court documents. Most checks were written for between $1,000 and $3,000.

During yesterday's proceeding, Senior Assistant State's Attorney Lynn Marshall told the judge that Matthews stole so much money from 2001 to 2006 that she "virtually doubled her income from Brown and Associates."

Matthews, who has been free on $10,000 bond since her arrest, pleaded guilty to stealing a total of $181,045.44.

The judge also entered a civil judgment against Matthews, prosecutors said.

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