Former head of Franco-American festival jailed for theft

Posted Oct. 08, 2010, at 3:26 p.m.

ALFRED, Maine — The former president of a festival celebrating Maine’s Franco-American heritage has begun serving a three-month jail sentence for embezzling from the festival.

Seventy-year-old Priscille Gagnon was sentenced Thursday for stealing about $80,000 from the La Kermesse festival in Biddeford and the Western Oaks Condominium Association. Gagnon, who apologized for doing it, said she took the money to pay hospital bills that had mounted because of her husband’s poor health.

The Journal Tribune says Gagnon and her husband have sold their Biddeford home to pay bills and restitution and moved to Georgia to live with a daughter. Prosecutors say Gagnon has paid back about $60,000, and she has 23 months to pay back the remaining $19,000 owed to the festival.

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