Biddeford woman gets probation; ordered to repay nearly $13,000 stolen while at medical center

Posted June 10, 2013, at 1:42 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A 67-year-old Biddeford woman was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to two years of probation for embezzling from her former employer, the Southern Maine Medical Center.

Karen L. Sheehan was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $12,814 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She also must perform up to 20 hours of community service while on probation.

Sheehan was indicted in September by a federal grand jury on 37 counts of embezzlement of funds from a health care benefit program, according to information posted on the court system electronic case filing system. She pleaded guilty to two counts in January. The remaining counts were dismissed Monday.

In 2009 and 2010, when she worked as an accounting clerk for the Biddeford medical center, Sheehan made deposits that included COBRA health insurance premiums made by former employees and checks mailed in by patients who used the hospital’s LifeLine Medical Alert Service, according to the prosecution version of events to which she pleaded guilty.

Sheehan substituted the COBRA and LifeLine checks for cash on 37 separate occasions between July 2, 2009, and May 14, 2010, the prosecution version of events said. Sheehan’s bank records showed many instances of cash deposits during the same time period.

Sheehan faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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