PORTLAND, Maine — A Peaks Island woman was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to three years in federal prison for stealing more than $70,000 from her boss after he ended their affair.
Sharon Conley, 56, also was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $72,282 in restitution, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Conley pleaded guilty in April to one count each of wire fraud, mail fraud, Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft.
She worked for the victim, who is described in court documents as a Peaks Island handyman, from January 2008 until October 2010. He hired Conley, described as a family friend and neighbor, to be the bookkeeper for his business, according to court documents. He ended an affair with her in the fall of 2008. Court documents do not say when the affair began.
Conley’s boss, who is not being named by the Bangor Daily News because he is a victim, discovered in October 2010 a pattern of cash withdrawals, checks written on the business account, and credit and debit card purchases that he did not authorize, according to court documents. He contacted authorities.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Conley, in November 2009, obtained a Chase Bank credit card issued in the name of her boss’ wife. In order to do so, Conley pretended to be the woman and provided the bank with the wife’s identifying information, including her date of birth, Social Security number and mother’s maiden name in order to confirm her identity.
Conley used the card to purchase personal items for herself and pay bills such as her monthly telephone bill, according to a press release issued by the U.S. attorney’s office. Between about February 2010 until about October 2010, when Conley’s fraud was discovered, the defendant made about $15,585 worth of unauthorized, personal purchases using the Chase Bank credit card.
Conley also made unauthorized use of other business accounts, her boss’ wife’s personal bank account, a home equity line of credit on their home, and of US Air Mastercard convenience checks, the U.S. attorney’s office said in the press release. Conley also double-billed one of her boss’ customers.
She faced up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the fraud charges alone.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported Sharon Conley's age is 55. She is 56.