Woonsocket court aide charged with embezzlement after AP audit

A municipal court aide in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, is accused of embezzlement of over $300,000. Rachel Arruda, who worked for the city for 32 years, faces charges of embezzlement and fraudulent conversion.

According to The Woonsocket Call, the embezzlement was discovered after the city hired the accounting firm Braver PC to conduct an accounts payable audit. Arruda allegedly stole money from the city's traffic fines funds.

Another employee, Michelle Giguere, who served as a treasury clerk, was also charged with fraud, computer tampering, embezzlement and other charges after it was revealed that she stole approximately $7,000 over a two-year period, states The Call.

However, Boston.com reports, Woonsocket has decided not to seek repayment of Giguere's stolen funds. Thomas Bruce III, the city finance director, said the decision was made because making simultaneous claims could result in higher insurance premiums. The city has received about half of the stolen money from Axis Insurance Co., which paid out $200,000 after the city filed a claim, says the website.

Steps have been taken to ensure that embezzlement does not happen again. The Call reports that the municipal clerk's duties, a position now filled by Lori Berthiaume, have been reduced and weekly hearings are conducted to go over accounting transactions for the city.

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