In Maine, embezzlement is classed as “theft by deception”. It means that someone has been entrusted with property and then misappropriates this for their own personal gain. Often, this is done by employees of businesses, but it can also include bank examiners, court officers, medical professionals, nonprofit workers, accountants, carers, and many more. Indeed, embezzlement can also include receiving stolen property, bribery, and taking money from employee benefit plans.
Maine Embezzlement Laws and Penalties
Under Title 17-A: MAINE CRIMINAL CODE, Part 2: SUBSTANTIVE OFFENSES, Chapter 15: THEFT, embezzlement is a Class E crime if someone receives unauthorized control of someone else property for their own personal gain. Exactly how the crime is punished, however, varies depending on the value of the object. As such:
- Property to a value above $10,000 constitutes a Class B crime, leading to a possible prison sentence of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000, as described in Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 17-A § § 1252, 1301.
- Property that is an explosive devices or firearm constitutes a Class B crime.
- A defendant armed with a dangerous weapon while conducting the offense is charged with a Class B crime.
- Property to a value of between $1,000 and $10,000 constitutes a Class C crime, leading to up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Property to a value of between $500 and $1,000 constitutes a Class D crime, which is a misdemeanor, leading to up to one year incarceration in a county jail.
- Anyone who has already faced to previous convictions in Maine will be charged with a Class C crime.
Restitution may also be ordered in all cases.
Maine Embezzlement Defenses
If someone is charged with embezzlement, the prosecution must, beyond reasonable doubt, prove that the defendant was entrusted with the property and that they willingly and with intent misappropriated it. A defense attorney, therefore, will try to disprove those two elements. They may also claim that the defendant acted under duress.
Maine Embezzlement Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in Maine varies depending on the class of the crime. As such:
- For Class A, B, and C crimes, the statute is six years after the offense’s commission.
- For Class D and E crimes, the statute is three years after the offense’s commission.
Maine Embezzlement Cases
- Former financial manager sentenced to seven years for Brooklin Boat Yard embezzlement. Steven Nygren, a 51 year old man from Salem, MA, has admitted to embezzling $815,000 from the Down East boat Yard in Maine, where he worked as a financial manager. He has been sentenced to five years supervised release and will have to pay restitution for the money he embezzled over a 16 month period between 2014 and 2015.
- Woman from Richmond to spend 45 days in county jail for embezzling from credit union. 51 year old Clarissa Hurley, from Richmond, has been sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended to 45 days with two years’ probation and restitution for embezzling $8,500 from the Down East Credit Union. Hurley expressed regret at her actions and understands how this has affected not just herself and the credit union, but also her family. Initially, Hurley had claimed that the credit union had set her up. However, she eventually pleaded guilty and took responsibility for her own actions.
- Woman from Clinton accused of embezzling over $10,000 from Tradewinds store in Norridgewock. 48 year old Joyce Carpenter has been held on embezzlement charges as she has been alleged to have taken over $10,000 from her employer, the Tradewinds Store, who initially raised the alarm. Reportedly, Carpenter, from Clinton, has admitted to taking the money for living expenses. She could face up to 10 years in prison as she is facing a Class B felony.
- Woman from New Harbor turns herself in on embezzlement charge. 24 year old Siarra M. Kear had been at large for over a year for an embezzlement charge. Allegedly, she has taken over $50,000 from a local store. She had been arrested in Colorado in February 2017 but fought extradition and eventually did not appear for bail hearings, going on the run instead. She will face Class B theft and Class B forgery charges, as well as a Class D charge for negotiating a worthless instrument. Additionally, she will be prosecuted in Colorado for failure to appear, for which there is an outstanding warrant. The victim in the embezzlement case was Dee’s Variety, a gas station and convenience store, where Kear worked for six years.
- Woman from Scarborough pleads guilty to $500,000+ embezzlement charge. Carrie Caprino, a 46 year old woman from Scarborough, has pleaded guilty to embezzling from two health care practices as well as for fraudulently using a Social Security number. She has embezzled over half a million dollars from a doctor and a dentist. The case had been investigated by the FBI. She could face up to 10 years imprisonment for the embezzlement charge and a further five years for the Social Security number charge. Additionally, both charges could lead to fines of $250,000 each as well as restitution.