The bookkeeper of a Saranac Lake, New York, medical practice recently entered an Alford plea in response to allegations that she embezzled more than $300,000 over a period of nearly 10 years, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports.
As the news source explains, an Alford plea means the woman, Mary Harvey, "maintains her innocence but admits there is enough evidence to convict her."
Harvey's alleged misappropriation was brought to light by an accounts payable audit conducted in October 2009, which revealed discrepancies in cash received and cash deposited totals. The initial AP audit only covered a period of several months but after the financial incongruities were uncovered, the scope of the investigation was expanded.
According to the lawsuit filed against Harvey, she "wrongfully converted to her own use and benefit cash in the total sum of $305,988" between January 2000 and October 2009, as quoted by the news source.
Conducting regular AP audits can help companies quickly identify inconsistencies resulting from both good faith mistakes and more nefarious activities.