Gardiner woman gets 3½ years for embezzling from lawyers group

Posted Jan. 06, 2012, at 5:43 p.m.

AUBURN, Maine — A former bookkeeper is going to prison for 3½ years for embezzling $166,000 from the Maine Trial Lawyers Association.

Bettysue Higgins of Gardiner was sentenced Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court. She must pay $166,000 in restitution as a condition of her probation after she serves her sentence.

The 54-year-old Higgins pleaded guilty in December to stealing the money between May 2006 and September 2010 by writing more than 200 association checks to herself for cash and forging the signature of the executive director. Authorities say she used the money for personal use, including online social-networking games.

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