BOSTON – The former bookkeeper of a New Bedford-based seafood company was sentenced yesterday in connection with embezzling nearly $600,000 from her employer.
Kara Howland, 37, of New Bedford, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 18 months in prison, two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $779,104. On Feb. 3, 2021, Howland pleaded guilty to bank fraud and filing a false tax return.
Between January 2016 and December 2019, Howland embezzled $598,241 from her employer by writing checks from her employer’s bank accounts to pay her credit card bills. Howland altered the company’s internal accounting records to make it appear that the checks were paid to legitimate vendors. Additionally, Howland did not report or include the funds that she embezzled on her federal income tax filings, resulting in a tax loss of $180,863.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; and Craig A. Marech, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service made the announcement today. The New Bedford Police Department also provided assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen A. Kearney of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.