Pair of Maine women sentenced for separate embezzlements involving restaurants, 75-year-old woman

Posted June 23, 2014, at 5:20 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Two women charged in connection to separate embezzlement cases were sentenced Monday.

Melanie Allen, 39, of Union was sentenced in Knox County Superior Court by Justice Jeffrey Hjelm to five years in jail with all but nine months suspended for theft and forgery. She was also placed on probation for three years and ordered to pay $66,976 in restitution.

Allen was convicted of forging checks and stealing cash from the Brass Compass Cafe and Archer’s restaurant starting in January 2013 and continuing through October 2013.

Lynn Archer, the owner of the restaurants, said last month that the theft from her businesses caused difficulties, adding that she had to take out a loan to keep people employed this past winter. She said she also had to work far more hours than she wanted to in order to keep the businesses going. Nearly 50 people are employed at her two restaurants.

Last month, Hjelm ordered Allen to pay Archer more than $87,000 in damages as the result of a civil suit Archer won against her former bookkeeper. Archer said last month she does not expect to get the money paid back to her.

In a separate case also heard Monday before Hjelm in Superior Court, Tasha P. Campbell, 22, of Waldoboro was sentenced to six months in jail for theft from a 75-year-old woman that Campbell was serving as a caregiver to.

The agreement was part of a deferred disposition approved by both the prosecution and defense. The agreement calls for a six-month sentence if Campbell refrains from criminal conduct for the next two years. She also must repay $17,116 to the victim.

An affidavit filed by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at the time of Campbell’s arrest stated that a woman helping the elderly victim with her bookkeeping noticed an extensive number of withdrawals from an ATM. The victim pointed out that she never used her ATM card but had it at her house for the caregivers to buy food and supplies for her.

When investigators turned their attention to her credit cards, they found those had been used at places such as Goodwill, Walmart and a Circle K convenience store without her knowledge. Video footage from the stores helped determine who was making the transactions, according to the affidavit.

The case against a co-defendant, Alicia D. Rawley, 46, of Waldoboro, remains pending. That case is expected to go to the grand jury in July.

A third defendant, Terry S. Perry, 40, of Union, was sentenced in March to nine months in jail for theft in connection to the case.

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