For Immediate Release - December 19, 2011

Former Medical Office Manager Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Stealing More Than $350,000 From Former Employer

Sentence Includes Jail Time and Restitution

WOBURN – A former office manager for a Hopkinton medical practice has pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her former employer, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.

Margaret Connor, age 56, of Marlborough, pleaded guilty to charges of Larceny over $250 by Continuous Scheme and False Entries in Corporate Books.  After the plea was entered, Judge Jane Haggerty sentenced Connor to one year in the House of Correction followed by 10 years’ probation.  As conditions of probation, Connor is ordered to pay $350,000 in restitution and may not accept work involving access to financial records or money without disclosing her conviction to her employer.  Connor will begin serving her sentence on January 3, 2012.

“The defendant stole hundreds of thousands of dollars for her own personal gain and falsified records to conceal her thefts from her employer,” AG Coakley said.  “Our office will continue to hold accountable those who deceive their employers.”

In May 2010, the Attorney General’s Office began an investigation into Connor’s activities after the matter was initially investigated and referred by her former employer.  Beginning in late 2003, Connor was promoted to the role of office manager for a private medical practice in Hopkinton.  Her daily duties included paying bills, managing the practice’s books, and managing health care and life insurance coverage of staff members.  In early 2010, Connor’s former employer discovered that she had listed a non-employee as an employee on one of the company’s health insurance rosters in order to obtain health care coverage for the individual.  This prompted the members of the practice to review the bank records, invoices and corporate books.  After discovering discrepancies, the employer referred the matter to the AG’s Office for prosecution.

Connor wrote more than 150 checks from the company’s bank account for her own personal benefit and made false entries in the company’s accounting software in an effort to conceal her thefts.  Many of the unauthorized checks Connor wrote were used to pay for personal expenses such as: travel, dining, clothing, furniture, and jewelry she purchased using personal credit cards.  Investigators also discovered that Connor paid her mortgage and utilities bills from her employer’s checking account. 

A Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against Connor on March 22, 2011.  Connor was arraigned on April 7 in Middlesex Superior Court where she entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.  Connor pleaded guilty today and was sentenced to committed time and probation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Molly Parks, Senior Counsel for AG Coakley’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division with assistance from Nikki Antonucci of the Victim Witness Services Division and investigators from AG Coakley’s Financial Investigations Division and State Police assigned to Coakley’s Criminal Bureau.

The AG’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division focuses on cases of fraud and white collar cases.  These cases include: employee embezzlement; thefts by attorneys and investment advisers; tax fraud; mortgage fraud; and other crimes against companies that impact their financial standing.

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