For Immediate Release - July 02, 2009

Former Lynnfield Treasurer's Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing Tax Payments

A former employee of the Lynnfield Treasurer's Office pleaded guilty today in Peabody District Court to larceny over $250, for stealing approximately $11,000 from the Office of the Lynnfield Tax Collector.

Ann Marie Toland-Francey, 40, of 67 Pine Street, #3, Stoneham, committed the crimes by pocketing cash payments residents and businesses made for their tax bills, and by altering duplicate office documents.

Judge James O'Leary sentenced Toland-Francey to six months in the House of Correction, which he suspended for two years. She was ordered to make full restitution of the money she stole in the amount of $11,407. The judge ordered her retirement account, $9,853, signed over to the town of Lynnfield immediately as part of the restitution order. The remaining $1,554 is payable over the next 12 months. He also ordered her to stay away from Lynnfield Town Hall.

Lynnfield Town Manager William Gustus confirmed that discrepancies were discovered within the office, and an investigation was conducted by Lynnfield Police and State Police Detectives from the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. Police have determined that the scheme involved a small number of accounts, and that Toland-Francey's actions did not negatively impact the taxpayers of the community

According to investigators, the defendant was initially employed in 2005 without incident, but in 2007, she began to display resentment toward her co-workers and supervisors when her bid to gain a pay raise failed.

In an interview with investigators on June 4, 2009, Toland-Francey admitted to stealing the funds between 2007 and 2008. Toland-Francey also told investigators that she retained an extra key to the Treasurer's Office. She used the key on a Friday in December of 2008 to enter the office after it had been closed for business, at which time she altered tax documents to try to cover up her scheme.

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