FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2011
TRENTON, N.J. – The former office manager of a law firm based in Lakewood, N.J., was sentenced to 33 months in prison today for defrauding her former employer by improperly diverting funds, stealing more than $1.1 million from the firm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Kathleen Baker, 54, of Brick Township, N.J., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court. She had previously pleaded guilty before Judge Wolfson to an Information charging her with one count of wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Baker admitted that between June 2003 and June 2009, she embezzled from her former employer, referred to in court documents as the “Law Firm,” by wrongfully writing checks from the law firm’s accounts, diverting the money to accounts she controlled and paying off personal credit cards. Baker, who had access to the law firm’s bank accounts in order to perform her duties as its office manager, used that access to divert more than $1.1 million for her personal benefit. Among other things, she opened a bank account in the name of a fictitious company called “Corporate Solutions” in order to conceal the flow of money. Baker’s actions caused wire transfers of large sums of money among various banks in the Federal Reserve System.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced Baker to two years of supervised release and also ordered Baker to pay a $7,500 fine. A restitution hearing was scheduled for Jan. 5, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Red Bank FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for their work in the investigation that led to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah M. Wolfe of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
Defense counsel: Ronald Sage Esq., Freehold, N.J.