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Press Release

Georgetown Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Over $60,000 Dollars from Employer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Georgetown woman pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to embezzling over $60,000 from her former employer.


Michelle Higson, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and two counts of uttering a forged security. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for July 26, 2017.


Higson worked as a part-time bookkeeper at a Rowley-based company where she was responsible for handling the company’s accounts payable, and used the company’s accounting software program to do so. From December 2013 through January 2015, Higson stole a series of the company’s checks and made them payable to cash. Higson then forged her employer’s signatures on the stolen checks, endorsed them herself, and deposited them for cash, which she used for personal expenses.


To conceal her criminal conduct and avoid detection by company officials, Higson falsified entries in the company’s general ledger to make it appear as if the stolen checks had been issued to satisfy payment to bona fide vendors. In total, Higson embezzled over $60,000.


The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. The charge of uttering a forged security provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 11, 2017

Financial Fraud