Judge rules embezzler must remain in prison

March 22, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD


A Washington County Circuit judge ruled Tuesday that a woman who is serving a three-year prison sentence for embezzling more than $200,000 from her former employer continue serving that term unless she makes significant restitution.

Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III said Tuesday that if Krista Sue Hudson sells her Williamsport home or takes out a home equity loan to pay a significant portion of the nearly $170,000 owed to Robinwood Orthopaedic Specialists, he might consider reducing her sentence.

Boone sentenced Hudson, 38, in November to serve three years in prison for felony theft scheme, a charge to which she pleaded guilty in September.


He delayed Hudson's sentencing date by about two months to give her time to take out a home equity loan on her 16818 Tammany Manor Road house for the purposes of paying back the doctor's office. Hudson paid $25,000 at her September hearing, but did not pay any restitution at her November hearing.

On Tuesday, her attorney, John Salvatore, said Hudson has since used her retirement pension - $23,000 - to pay toward restitution. He said that in order for Hudson to pay back more money, she needs to be released from the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup, Md.

"Keeping her there any further would not be productive," he said.

Salvatore explained that Hudson has not been able to convince her husband to sell their house or get a home equity loan, saying there were issues with their marriage.

Robinwood Orthopaedic Specialists employees filled at least two rows of courthouse benches Tuesday.

Dr. Michael Winslow told Boone during the hearing that the office is still upset that Hudson lied to them. He said a letter of apology the office received about two weeks ago was "too little, too late."

Boone told Winslow, "You'll never get restitution of trust."

Hudson was fired Oct. 18, 2004, after office manager Elaine Harne noticed that bank deposit slips, which Hudson was authorized to fill out, had been altered, according to charging documents.

Hudson was charged for stealing close to $230,000 over the course of about four years. She used the money to buy a camper, a vacation and cruise, replace her home carpet and kitchen floor, and make a down payment on a minivan, according to court documents.

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