Woman sentenced to 2 years for theft at law firm

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AUBURN — An Oxford woman was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for embezzling more than $200,000 from a prominent Lewiston law firm.

Amy L. Christiansen, 30, pleaded guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court to one count of theft by unauthorized taking. She faced up to 10 years in prison for the felony.

In court Wednesday, Christiansen was sentenced to six years with all but two years suspended. She was ordered to repay $206,287.

After the sentencing was handed down, Christiansen requested that the sentence be delayed. The request was denied. A tearful Christiansen was led out of the courtroom and returned to jail. She will serve her time in a state prison.

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Prosecutors said Christiansen stole more than $200,000 during the time she worked at Berman & Simmons law firm, from 2007 until early 2009. In late 2008 and into the following year, officials at the firm became aware of financial discrepancies and notified police, who spent months investigating the case.

According to a news release, Christiansen had taken money from a trust account. She came forward “just as an audit by outside accountants was about to get under way,” the firm said in a written statement. She confessed to having acted alone in taking the money for her personal use.

No client at the firm suffered financial loss, prosecutors said.

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