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FORMER BOOKKEEPER PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING FUNDS FROM STEAMSHIP AUTHORITY

AUGUST 24, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A Mashpee woman was convicted late yesterday in federal court of embezzling more than $100,000 from her former employer, the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority (Steamship Authority).

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division, announced that ARMINE E. SABATINI, 46, of Mashpee, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf to two counts of embezzlement and two counts of wire fraud.

At the plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that from in or about October 2001, through in or about September 2009, SABATINI, a bookkeeper employed by the Steamship Authority, carried out her fraud by creating fictitious names of Steamship Authority customers and assigning refund credits to them. It is alleged that SABATINI then credited Steamship Authority funds – purportedly payable to the fictitious customer names she created – to credit or debit card accounts she controlled. During the relevant time period, SABATINI allegedly conducted approximately 380 fraudulent refund transactions and misappropriated an aggregate total of approximately $145,000 in Steamship Authority funds.

Chief Judge Wolf scheduled sentencing for November 17, 2010. SABATINI faces up to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count of embezzlement, and up to 20 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count of wire fraud.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Falmouth Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

 

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