Bookkeeper Pleads Not Guilty to Embezzlement
Pamela Smith leaves Windsor District Court in White River Junction after her arraignment for allegedly embezzling $200,000 from The Riverview Shire motel, her former employer, between 2007 and 2013 on Thursday. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Woodstock — A Woodstock woman pleaded not guilty to allegedly embezzling more than $200,000 from The Shire Riverview motel , where she worked as a bookkeeper.
Pamela Smith, 56, appeared in Windsor Superior Court on Thursday for a felony charge of embezzlement, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if she is convicted.
Smith walked out of the courthouse Thursday afternoon without having to post bail. She and her attorney, Wayne Young, both declined to comment.
Smith worked at The Shire Riverview as a bookkeeper and was responsible for paying bills and maintaining the motel’s accounts, according to police affidavits.
The affidavits and court documents go on to describe how the motel’s owner, Dorothy DiCarlo, first detected something was amiss when examining the business’ account in March when she found a business check made out to Smith for $2,400. When DiCarlo asked Smith why she would write a check out to herself, Smith wouldn’t answer. When DiCarlo pressed Smith for more detail and told her she would have to go to police, Smith repeatedly said, “I will take responsibility for that check.”
At first, DiCarlo gave Smith the benefit of the doubt, but upon further investigation, DiCarlo found five more checks written to Smith of more than $10,000. DiCarlo then contacted the motel’s bank, Mascoma Savings Bank, and asked for copies of every check written during the past four years. DiCarlo discovered that there was more than $50,000 in checks made out to Smith.
Further investigation revealed that Smith was paying her personal credit cards through The Shire Riverview’s bank account. Smith wrote checks and made automatic withdrawals to pay more than $6,000 to Comcast Cable, more than $12,000 to Dead River Company, more than $15,000 to Capital One, and more than $22,000 to Home Depot, among other transactions.
DiCarlo discovered that Smith assigned the amount of each check to a vendor account in the motel’s accounting software, and would then edit the check so it was made out to herself. For example, in January 2013, Smith wrote a check on the computer to the fuel company, Dead River, for $2,619. She then endorsed the the back of the check in her name before she printed them and deposited them into her own bank account, the documents said.
During a six-year period from 2007 to 2013, Smith printed and hand wrote checks to herself and had them signed by using a stamp of DiCarlo’s signature.
Altogether, Smith wrote $58,000 worth of checks to herself. She also made out nearly $81,000 worth of checks and electronic transfers to pay bills and took about $81,000 worth of cash to equal about $220,000.
On May 29, Smith agreed to repay the DiCarlos $150,000. The DiCarlo’s attorney received a check from Smith for $40,000 and later received a $20,000 check.
A sworn statement by DiCarlo said Smith was a friend who had worked for her a long time and “seemed to do a great job.”
“I was shocked and numb because she was a trusted friend and employee,” DiCarlo said in the statement.
Neither Dorothy DiCarlo nor her husband, Vincent DiCarlo, could not be reached for comment. An employee at The Shire Riverview said the couple is away for a couple of days.
Judge Katherine Hayes ordered Smith not to have contact or harass Dorothy and Vincent DiCarlo and to not convey, transfer or dispose of movable property or cash of more than $1,000 without the permission of the court.
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223.