A former bookkeeper and office manager at a Rhode Island law firm who previously pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly three-quarters of a million dollars from her employer has been sentenced to five years in prison, federal prosecutors said. Sarah Gaulin, 39, a former employee of the law firm of Hamel, Waxler, Allen and Collins, was also ordered Tuesday to pay full restitution, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Providence.
Gaulin pleaded guilty in October to stealing from her employer and also to lying on a bank mortgage application and fraudulently collecting nearly $20,000 in temporary disability insurance payments while she continued to work, prosecutors said.
According to prosecutors, she prepared and cashed law firm checks made payable to herself, made out firm checks payable to her own creditors, and prepared firm checks payable to credit card companies for personal expenses including rent, mortgage, and an automobile lease.
She also used more than 550 forged law firm checks to purchase nearly $300,000 worth of gift cards from Staples.
As part of the scheme that ran from January 2012 until May 2019 she forged the signature of a firm partner, authorities said.