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Embezzler sentenced to prison

February 26, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Chambersburg, Pa., woman who pleaded guilty in December 2008 to theft scheme of more than $500 and forgery for taking almost $900,000 from a local business where she worked as a bookkeeper was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison.

Mary Taylor, 40, sobbed as she appeared Thursday morning in Washington County District Court wearing a bright orange Washington County Detention Center jumpsuit. She has been jailed since Dec. 10, her defense attorney said.

Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II sentenced Taylor to eight years for each conviction and ordered the sentences be served concurrently.

Taylor worked for Turner Development Co. for almost 16 years, acting as its bookkeeper and accountant for several years, Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes has said.

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She faced an additional 43 charges, which in December 2008 were placed on the inactive docket as part of a plea agreement.

Taylor, whose former address is listed in online court records as 1408 Mallard Drive East in Chambersburg, Pa., deposited unauthorized checks into another company's account from about March 2006 to September 2008, Rozes said during December's plea hearing.

While working for Turner Development Co., Taylor also had access to American Express credit cards and charged more than $168,000 in bills that were owed by her and her husband's company, Rozes said.

She wrote $72,135.03 in checks to another company, and she forged signatures on another $15,221 in payroll checks, Rozes has said.

The company into which the checks were deposited belonged to Taylor and her husband.

"I was just trying to make a good start for my husband and myself and make a good life and good business for us," Taylor said before she was sentenced.

Defense attorney Ben Thompson said the family was liquidating the assets of the company, and proceeds would be forwarded to Frank Turner, president of Turner Development Co.

Thompson also handed the prosecutor a check made out from Taylor's retirement account and $100 bills totaling $2,000. Taylor's parents also paid $10,000 in restitution on their daughter's behalf, Thompson said.

"It's all the money they have," he said.

Taylor apologized to Turner and to her family. Her parents, husband, sister and brother-in-law were in the courtroom Thursday.

Total restitution would be $879,020, Rozes said.

Taylor has been treated for depression while in jail.

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