Bangor woman pleads not guilty to stealing $150,000 from daughter

Posted March 06, 2014, at 11:55 a.m.
Last modified March 06, 2014, at 6:01 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A local woman Thursday denied stealing $150,000 from a trust fund set aside to help her injured daughter.

Jill Farnham, 48, of Bangor pleaded not guilty at the Penobscot Judicial Center to one count of theft by unauthorized taking. The Penobscot County grand jury indicted her on Feb. 26.

Farnham will remain free on $1,000 unsecured bail.

He next court date is April 15.

“The victim in that case is her daughter,” Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, said last week. “She was involved in a motor vehicle accident [four] years ago.”

Two civil lawsuits were filed after the accident in November 2009 in Fairfield, and the daughter, now 26, was awarded $150,000, which was placed into separate trusts on her behalf, according to Roberts. Farnham was a trustee on the account and entitled to spend it on her daughter’s behalf.

“Unfortunately, Ms. Farnham cleaned the money out,” Roberts said last month.

The prosecutor said Thursday that it has not been determined exactly what Farnham bought with the money.

The initial fund was created at a Bank of America branch in Bangor with $31,000, the prosecutor said Thursday. By the summer of 2010, that money was gone. The second fund was established at the same bank in April 2011 with a deposit of $125,000.

By June 2011, all but $48,000 of that money was gone, according to Roberts. At that point, bank officials reported to the Department of Health and Human Services that they suspected the funds were not being used for their intended purpose, and the funds were frozen.

When Camden National Bank purchased Bank of America’s Maine branches, the freeze was lifted inadvertently, Roberts said Thursday. Between April 5 and May 14, 2013, Farnham allegedly spent the remaining funds.

If convicted, Farnham faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the Class B crime. She also could be ordered to pay restitution.

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