Harpswell woman charged with embezzling nearly $300,000 in Lewiston, California

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff
Posted July 31, 2013, at 12:14 p.m.

HARPSWELL, Maine — A woman who police say embezzled at least $80,000 from the Ramada Inn in Lewiston — and who is suspected of embezzling nearly $200,000 from a youth football league and another business in California — was arrested Tuesday afternoon at her Harpswell home.

Carrie Richardson, 37, of Harpswell remained in Cumberland County Jail on Wednesday morning, held on $100,000 bail.

She is charged with Class B felony theft for embezzling $80,000 while working as a bookkeeper at the Ramada Inn between January 2012 and January 2013, when she was fired, Lewiston police Lt. Michael McGonagle said Wednesday.

McGonagle said the theft was discovered during an annual audit and Richardson “was the only one who had control of the money.”

Richardson is also wanted on warrants from Escondido and San Diego County in California after allegedly embezzling in that state, McGonagle said.

UT San Diego reported in March 2012 that Richardson — also known as Carrie Marie Miranda — was suspected of embezzling as much as $100,000 from Escondido Pop Warner Football, for which she served as treasurer for three years, and approximately $45,000 from the North County Yamaha shop in San Marcos, Calif., where Richardson formerly worked.

Detective Jeff Miller of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated the North County Yamaha crime, said Wednesday that Richardson was wanted there on charges of embezzlement and grand theft. But he said the district attorney told him that the county would not extradite Richardson to face charges there due to budget reasons.

Julie Hurkman, co-owner of the store, told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday that Richardson actually stole at least $75,000 from her, but that at $45,000, “we just stopped counting.”

Hurkman said Richardson worked for her for eight years before the day she overheard Hurkman talking to her credit card company about the missing funds. When Hurkman went downstairs to talk to another manager, she said, Richardson disappeared.

Richardson left the home she was renting from Hurkman within a couple of days, Hurkman said.

“She left all her stuff there,” Hurkman said of Richardson. “I never saw her again.”

Sgt. David Cramer of the Escondido Police Department, which investigated the Escondido Pop Warner Football theft, declined Wednesday to discuss that department’s case against Richardson.

Detectives from Sagadahoc County and Brunswick arrested Richardson about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at her Harpswell apartment. Detectives first checked at the address the Lewiston Police Department had for Richardson, but found that another family lived there. They then checked the address on her Maine driver’s license and found the home vacant. Finally, they found Richardson at a Harpswell apartment she had moved into two weeks ago, detectives said.

McGonagle said Wednesday that Richardson likely would be transferred to the Androscoggin County Jail to await a court appearance on the charges.

Hurkman, of North County Yamaha in California, said her employees were going to throw a pizza party Wednesday to celebrate Richardson’s arrest.

“I can’t tell you how good this makes me feel,” she said. “We’ve just been sitting here waiting for something to happen.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/31/news/lewiston-auburn/harpswell-woman-charged-with-embezzling-more-than-200000-in-lewiston-california/ printed on August 22, 2014