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FORMER VITASOY EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2010

BOSTON, MA - A Shirley woman pled guilty yesterday in federal court to stealing as much as $198,380.21 from her long-time employer, Ayer-based Vitasoy USA, Inc.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Steven Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service and Colonel Marian McGovern, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced today that SARAH A. RICHARD, age 57, of Shirley, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to five counts of making, uttering and possessing forged securities.

At today's plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the Government's evidence would have proven that from November of 2003 through October of 2008, RICHARD used her position as an Accounts Payable administrative employee to embezzle as much as $198,380.21 from Vitasoy’s bank account. RICHARD was responsible for making payments from Vitasoy funds to vendors of products and services which had been provided to Vitasoy. RICHARD used her office computer to alter the names of legitimate vendor-payees on checks to the name “Imperial Cleaning,” a defunct business once owned by her husband. RICHARD then deposited a total of 105 of altered checks into an account which she controlled at North Middlesex Savings Bank.

An initial internal investigation by Vitasoy USA, Inc., and the Ayer, Massachusetts Police Department led to the discovery and exposure of RICHARD's activities.

Judge Saris scheduled sentencing for April 29, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. RICHARD faces up to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count, as well as mandatory restitution to the Vitasoy USA, Inc.

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Massachusetts Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul R. Moore of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

 

 

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