PORTLAND (AP) – A bookkeeper at a Portland company that sells fuel and ice to Portland’s dwindling fishing fleet has been fired amid allegations that she embezzled nearly $400,000 over the past four years.

Vessel Services Inc. has sued Rhonda Coppersmith of Cumberland, seeking compensation and punitive damages.

In an affidavit filed in Cumberland County Superior Court, the company’s president quotes Coppersmith’s lawyer as saying his client had been making unauthorized payments from Vessel Services’ checking account to her personal credit card.

Coppersmith has not been charged with a crime, although authorities have been notified of the allegations.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

AP-ES-02-13-08 0659EST

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