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Woman sentenced to 10 years after theft scheme plea

September 13, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - An Inwood, W.Va., woman who pleaded guilty in June to theft scheme for stealing more than $400,000 from a Hagerstown nonprofit where she worked was sentenced Wednesday morning to 10 years in prison.

Kelley Boyd Macher, 46, formerly of 79 Minnick Road, must pay $400,000 to Potomac Case Management Services Inc., Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright ordered.

"I cannot, honestly I cannot, have empathy as a judge in this case," Wright said.

Potomac Case Management Services Inc. reported $452,208.50 was missing Dec. 1, 2006. An audit was performed after a woman switching software for bookkeeping records noticed discrepancies in funds.

The organization was missing $213,049.70 from an American Express account assigned to Macher and $24,299.05 was missing from an Advanta account, also assigned to her, according to court records. The audit showed that 58 unauthorized checks, totaling $44,417.29 were written to Macher from a Farmers & Merchants Bank account.

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Potomac Case Management originally sought much more in restitution due to indirect costs and other thefts, Assistant State's Attorney Viki Pauler said.

The organization agreed to the original figures provided by police in charging documents because Macher and her attorney disputed the higher figure, Pauler said.

The state asked for a prison sentence because the case was one of the worst employee thefts ever in Washington County, Pauler said.

Macher was hired by Potomac Case Management Services Inc. in March 2000 and resigned from the organization in August 2006. Macher continued to work for the organization, and was not paid, until October 2006, said Eric Andrews, Macher's defense attorney.

The nonprofit organization - which offers help to those diagnosed with mental illnesses, and families and senior citizens who need a variety of services - will be repaying the debts Macher incurred for a long time, representatives said.

Macher's selfishness caused her to steal the money over a period of six years beginning in 2000, Wright said. With only $100,000 in equity in her home and a $40,000-a-year salary, Macher would have a hard time paying restitution, he said.

In court Wednesday morning, Macher said she was ashamed of her actions, was sorry for the embarrassment she caused everyone involved and wanted to pay restitution. She sobbed as she read from a prepared statement.

"It's hard to believe anyone who has stolen money over a period of time. That is a scheme of deceit," Wright said.

"I've listened to your words, but they sound hollow because of the actions over a long period of time," the judge said.

Macher, the mother of two, might be eligible for parole in three years, and he would consider modifying her sentence if $300,000 in restitution is paid, Wright said.

"I think if it (restitution) happens, it will be a long time," Frances Cade, Potomac Case Management Inc.'s Board treasurer, said Wednesday morning after the sentencing.

Andrews said in a voice-mail message that it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the sentencing because he and Macher were considering filing motions in the case.

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