A Brick woman has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for stealing $1.1 million from the law firm she once managed.
Kathleen Baker, 54, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court on Wednesday, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman's office. She had previously pleaded guilty before Wolfson to one count of wire fraud.
According to court documents, Baker admitted that between June 2003 and June 2009, she embezzled from her former employer, referred to in court documents as an unnamed law firm, by wrongfully writing checks from the firm’s accounts, diverting the money to accounts she controlled and paying off personal credit cards. Baker, who had access to the law firm’s bank accounts in order to perform her duties as its office manager, used that access to divert more than $1.1 million for her personal benefit, authorities said.
Among other things, she opened a bank account in the name of a fictitious company called “Corporate Solutions” in order to conceal the flow of money. Baker’s actions caused wire transfers of large sums of money among various banks in the Federal Reserve System, according to Fishman's statement.
In addition to the prison term, Wolfson sentenced Baker to two years of supervised release and also ordered her to pay a $7,500 fine. A restitution hearing was scheduled for January 5, 2012.
Fishman credited special agents of the Red Bank FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for their work in the investigation that led to Wednesday’s sentencing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah M. Wolfe represented the government in the matter. Baker was represented by Freehold attorney Ron Sage.