For Immediate Release - December 09, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Announces Guilty Plea of Former Court Reporter Charged with Stealing Over $17,000 From the State

BOSTON - A former court reporter for the Commonwealth pled guilty yesterday in Boston Municipal Court to stealing over $17,000 from the state. Karen Anderson, age 49, of Middletown, RI, pled guilty to Larceny Over $250 by False Pretenses (2 counts) and Presentation of False Claims (6 counts). Immediately after the change of plea, Judge Mark Hart Summerville ordered Anderson to serve four years of probation on all charges. He also ordered that Anderson pay $17,576.45 in restitution to the state.

In February 2007 , the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after Anderson's activities had been discovered and brought to the office's attention by the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). Anderson was a freelance court reporter working under the name Anderson Court Reporting. From 2001 until November 2004, she was an approved vendor for CPCS. CPCS, with Court approval, arranges for payment by the Commonwealth of transcription services provided by court reporters to juveniles and criminal defendants that cannot afford to pay for an attorney. The court reporter seeking payment for such services is required to submit a payment voucher with a copy of the Court's Order authorizing the payment.

In a three month period between August and October 2004, Anderson submitted six fraudulent payment vouchers to CPCS for payment by the Commonwealth, bills totaling over $42,000. In support of the fraudulent payment vouchers, Anderson attached copies of old court orders authorizing payment by the Commonwealth to transcribe tape recordings of district court proceedings on behalf of a juvenile or indigent criminal defendant appealing a district court ruling. With regard to each of the six vouchers, the appeal of the cases referenced on the fraudulent voucher and in the attached court order were cases that Anderson had provided services for years before, and for which she had already received payment. A comparison of the fraudulent vouchers to the ones that had been submitted by Anderson years before revealed that Anderson also greatly inflated the number of pages transcribed and thereby the total amount of the billings. CPCS paid Anderson on three of the false vouchers before discovering that the invoices were fraudulent. CPCS then referred the matter to the Attorney General's Office.

On February 20, 2009, the Attorney General's Office filed a complaint charging Anderson in Boston Municipal Court. She was arraigned on March 6, 2009, where she entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Yesterday, Anderson entered a change of plea to guilty on all eight charges and was sentenced.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Nancy Maroney of Attorney General Coakley's Corruption and Fraud Division, and was investigated by Financial Investigator Davin Lee and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office.