Tuesday, June 23, 2009
California Woman With Prior Conviction Bilks Non-Profit Out Of $350K
Lynn Marie Bennett, 58, of Shasta Lake, California, pleading no contest to charges of grand theft and identity theft for embezzling more than $350,000 from the Shasta Senior Nutrition Program, a non-profit subsidiary of Mercy Medical Center and Catholic Healthcare West. Bennett, who served as the non-profit's chief financial officer, previously spent 240 days in the Contra Costa County Jail in 1988 on similar charges. According to prosecutors, Bennett began issuing herself unauthorized checks shortly after she was hired in July 2000 and the thefts continued for 8 years. Investigators discovered bank deposit bags with cash never deposited at her home when she was arrested. Authorities filed a lien against her home, and seized five bank accounts, several vehicles, two boats and a boat trailer. Bennett's husband, Colin Keith Bennett, has been "marginally cooperative," according to the investigators. Upon her nolo contendre plea, Bennett was sentenced to 7 years in prison and ordered to pay $353,081 in restitution. She was originally charged in August 2008 on 328 felony counts, including embezzlement, grand theft, identity theft, writing forged checks and other related crimes.