Last updated: March 28. 2014 6:38PM - 2067 Views
By - rdupuis@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE — An Exeter Township woman who embezzled from her employer over a three-year period will serve three years’ probation and must pay $15,000 restitution.

Patricia Avery, 50, was sentenced Thursday by Luzerne County Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. on three misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking.

Police have said that Avery, while employed as a bookkeeper for Avenue Auto Sales on Wyoming Avenue, paid herself with extra paychecks, overtime and petty cash from 2009 through 2012, according to a criminal complaint, stealing nearly $50,000.

Police said Avery dipped into three different accounts for personal benefit.

According to the complaint, Avery unlawfully took $10,202.22 from the Avenue Auto Sales general account, $11,996.72 from the business’ garage account and $26,320.75 from the payroll account.

Avery ultimately admitted to police she was taking extra money to “make ends meet and pay bills,” the complaint states.

According to court documents, Avery is to pay back $15,000 within two years. It was not clear from court documents how that figure was established.

A call to Assistant District Attorney Jim McMonagle was not returned Friday.

Under her plea agreement, Avery is not to have any contact with the victims and must maintain employment.

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