For Immediate Release - October 16, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Announces Arraignment of Freetown Woman for Embezzling $200,000 From New Bedford Company

NEW BEDFORD - Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced that a Freetown woman was arraigned in Bristol Superior Court for allegedly stealing approximately $200,000 from her former employer. Jennifer St. Clair, age 37, is charged with Falsifying Corporate Books (3 counts) and Larceny over $250 by Continuous Scheme.

In late October 2008, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after St. Clair's alleged activities had been discovered by her former employer and referred to the office. For 15 years, St. Clair was employed as an Accounts Receivable Collector for a New Bedford-based produce distributor. Company truck drivers would collect cash and checks from customers each day on their daily routes. Upon returning to the office, the money was routed to St. Clair, who was primarily responsible for preparing the cash and checks for armored car pick-up and deposit in the company's bank account. Investigators discovered that she was also the only person responsible for recording these payments into the company's accounting system. Authorities believe that during the period from July 2006 through October 2008, St. Clair allegedly stole a large amount of cash from these deposits by either making only partial deposits or no deposits at all. Investigators discovered that in order to conceal her thefts, St. Clair allegedly recorded false entries in the companies accounting system. St. Clair allegedly misapplied credits held on larger customer accounts to offset cash payments she recorded as paid but did not deposit.

A Bristol County Grand Jury returned indictments against St. Clair on September 23, 2009. Today, she was arraigned in Bristol Superior Court where she entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. She is scheduled to next appear in court on December 1, 2009, for a pre-trial conference.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Nancy Maroney, of Attorney General Coakley's Corruption and Fraud Division, and was investigated by Jennifer Chaves of the Attorney General's Financial Investigations Division and State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office.

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