August 18, 2019
Portland Latest News | Samantha Paradis | Bangor Metro | Martha Stewart's Maine | Today's Paper

Former Maine tax collector to serve 6 months for stealing $118,000

PORTLAND, Maine — A former Westbrook tax collector was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to six months in prison for skimming cash deposits between July 2015 and April 2016, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Ann Marie Williams, 52, of Falmouth also was ordered to pay $118,000 in restitution.

In addition to prison time, Williams was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

She was ordered to report to prison in May.

Williams waived indictment and pleaded guilty to embezzlement in September.

She had been free on $10,000 unsecured bond since then.

The theft became public in June 2016 when Westbrook Mayor Colleen Hilton announced a city employee had been fired after stealing cash with which Westbrook residents had paid their tax bills.

Her attorney, Richard Berne of Portland, said in his sentencing memorandum, dated Feb. 3, that Williams had paid $2,575 toward restitution.

Berne said that Williams attributed her actions as tax collector to: post-traumatic stress disorder; physical and emotional abuse by her now ex-husband over the course of their marriage; the financial and emotional demands of single parenthood; and guilt, and “depression due to a misplaced sense of responsibility for the dysfunction that befell her and her children after the divorce.”

“Despite her best efforts, Ann Marie’s inability to successfully stabilize her finances and satisfy the perceived needs of her family were the factors that ultimately led to the initial theft from the City of Westbrook,” Berne said.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Williams faced between 10 and 16 months in federal prison. The U.S. attorney’s office recommended a guideline sentence while Berne urged the judge not to send Williams to prison but to impose a sentence that included home confinement and community service.


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