June 22, 2018
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Woman charged with embezzling more than $400,000 from Bangor garden store pleads not guilty

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A woman accused of embezzling more than $400,000 while working for a local nursery and garden center pleaded not guilty Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to one count of theft by unauthorized taking.

Ellen F. Wilson, 56, was indicted Jan. 30 by the Penobscot County grand jury, then fled to Pennsylvania, according to Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County. When contacted by Bangor investigators, Wilson refused to tell them where in the Keystone State she was living, Roberts said.

Wilson worked as a bookkeeper at Sprague’s Nursery and Garden Center in Bangor, where she allegedly took $435,000 over a five-year period, Roberts said previously.

She was arrested Dec. 2 in Pennsylvania and waived extradition in Stroudsburg, Pa., last week, the prosecutor said after Wilson entered her plea. Roberts said he did not know the circumstances of Wilson’s arrest.

Superior Court Justice William Anderson on Friday set bail at $50,000 cash with the condition that she live in Maine until her case is resolved. Wilson remained at Penobscot County Jail Friday afternoon.

Wilson was convicted 10 years ago of stealing more than $200,000 from Maine Energy Inc., Roberts said. Wilson was sentenced to five years in prison with all but nine months suspended and four years of probation, according to information in the Bangor Daily News archives. She also was ordered to to pay $200,000 in restitution to Maine Energy.

Wilson got the job at Sprague’s Nursery and Garden Center in Bangor after completing her sentence.

If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. She also could be ordered to pay restitution to Sprague’s Nursery.

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