Gardiner woman charged with embezzling $166K from lawyers

Posted Feb. 15, 2011, at 10:02 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A 53-year-old woman is facing criminal charges that she embezzled more than $166,000 from the Maine Trial Lawyers Association by writing checks to herself.

Bettysue Higgins of Gardiner was indicted last week on a charge of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and one count of forgery.

Leanne Robbin of the Maine Attorney General’s office says Higgins was an administrative assistant for the Augusta-based lawyers’ association. The thefts allegedly occurred over four years and Higgins wrote 220 association checks to herself.

The Kennebec Journal says the association filed a civil lawsuit against Higgins and had a judge place a $132,000 lien on Higgins’ property. In its lawsuit, the association says Higgins used the money for her own personal use.