Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Embezzlement from college is top crime story

Pointing to what he portrayed as a “mountain of evidence,” Judge Paul M. Bowman sentenced a former Washington College Dining Services employee to 15 years in prison for conducting a theft scheme of more than $100,000. The judge suspended eight years, meaning that Wendy Sue Marker will serve seven years of active incarceration. She also is to make restitution of $10,000, which represents the amount of money the college paid out of pocket to its insurance carrier.
Sentencing on Aug. 16 in the Circuit Court of Kent County lasted for nearly an hour.
Marker, 48, of Worton, entered an Alford plea in June. She did not admit guilt, but acknowledged that the prosecutor had enough evidence for a conviction. She told the judge that it was in her best interest to make the plea.
The Office of the Kent County State’s Attorney dismissed the remaining charges.
During sentencing, Marker continued to maintain her innocence.
Kent County Assistant State’s Attorney Hallie Salmi told the court that Marker had conducted an elaborate scheme that spanned at least half a decade. Salmi portrayed it as a “theft of entitlement.” Co-workers told the prosecutor that Marker presented herself as someone who was overworked and underpaid, that she was owed the money.
Marker was arrested Oct. 11, 2012, two days after a grand jury returned a 21-count indictment. Her arrest came after the college’s accounting department, while conducting routine analysis, uncovered cash discrepancies related to the Dining Services department. According to testimony, “irregularities” were discovered as the college was preparing a budget for the next fiscal year. Specifically, when the dining hall director reviewed the receipts from as many as five venues – including the main dining hall, the Java George coffeehouse on the first floor of Hodson Hall and a quasi-convenience store in one of the dormitories – she determined that the projected revenue was not being met.
The college initiated an internal investigation that produced 16 file boxes of documents.
Once Marker was placed on administrative leave on April 24, 2012, “all shortages ceased,” according to Salmi

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