Former Kennebunk children’s clinic director to serve 20 months for theft, forgery

Posted July 15, 2013, at 9:36 a.m.

ALFRED, Maine — The former executive director of a clinic that provided mental health and developmental services to children has been sentenced for stealing money from the clinic, which includes writing herself $200,000 in checks, as well as tax evasion and other charges.

Mari Jo Allen, 42, of Arundel, was sentenced on Friday to four years with all but 20 months suspended and three years of probation, according to a press release from the Maine Attorney General’s office. She was ordered to pay $76,561 in restitution for tax and benefit money stolen, plus interest, and money Allen stole from an employer.

Allen pled guilty on March 1 to charges of forgery, theft by deception, theft by misapplication, intentional income tax evasion, failure to file and pay income taxes, and unemployment fraud.

Prosecutors said she stole money while employed as the executive director at the former Pediatric Evaluations for Developmental Solutions Clinic in Kennebunk, a nonprofit clinic that provided mental health and developmental services for children. The clinic was forced to close due to Allen’s mismanagement of its finances, the release said.

At the sentencing hearing Friday, Allen also pled guilty to additional charges of theft by unauthorized taking, negotiating a worthless instrument, theft by deception and violation of condition of release.

Many of Allen’s crimes took place when she was working as the owner of an administrative services company, and then later as executive director of the Kennebunk clinic, Allen stole employee withholding taxes totaling more than $18,000. Allen wrote herself approximately $200,000 in checks over an approximate 18 month time period, while failing to pay the clinic’s doctors, clinicians and insurers, as well as local vendors which provided products and services for the clinic.

She also forged a check purporting to show that the clinic’s health insurance premium for its employees had been paid.

Allen also committed intentional income tax evasion from 2005-10, by filing fraudulent federal income tax returns. Since the adjusted gross income figure on an individual’s federal income tax return is used on Maine income tax returns, Allen used that figure to avoid filing Maine income tax returns. Allen failed to pay more than $17,000 in Maine income taxes during the period that she intentionally underreported her income and stole federal income tax refund money.

After the clinic terminated Allen, she filed false claims with the Maine unemployment commission and stole almost $16,000 in unemployment benefits by claiming she was not working, although she continued to earn money performing administrative services for local businesses, the release said

While Allen’s criminal case was pending over the past year, Allen stole more than $3,000 from her most recent employer, used the employer’s credit card without permission to buy $1,200 in personal items and wrote the York County Sheriff’s Office a check for more than $1,000 knowing she had no money to cover the check.

“This case is an egregious example of someone who had no regard for their fellow citizens, coworkers or even the children and families who relied on the PEDS clinic. Our government relies upon citizens to file honest income tax returns just as a business entrusts its employees to safeguard payroll funds.” said Attorney General Janet Mills. “My Office will continue to work with Maine Revenue Services to pursue and prosecute any individuals who attempt to defraud the state and individuals and take advantage of positions of trust in order to enrich themselves.”

The case was investigated by the detective division of the Maine attorney general’s office and Maine Revenue Services’ criminal investigations unit. Assistant Attorney General Gregg D. Bernstein handled the matter for Attorney General Mill’s criminal division.

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