PARIS – A 34-year-old woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of embezzling money from a substance abuse counseling business in Norway.

Katherine Barrucci of Bolster Place in Norway was arraigned before Justice Robert Crowley in Oxford County Superior Court. She pleaded not guilty to charges of Class B and Class C theft and misdemeanor charges of forgery and negotiating a useless instrument.

Barrucci worked at Common Ground Counseling as an office manager from 2005 to October 2007. Detective Gary Hill of the Norway Police Department said Barrucci left the business after owner Jennifer Raudonis began questioning employees about possible thefts.

A total of $16,935.76 in cash was taken from the business over two years. The money was paid by clients and kept in a locked file cabinet until Barrucci made deposits, Hill said.

Hill said Barrucci also deposited four checks made out to Common Ground Counseling and worth $1,104.26 into her own bank account.

Hill said his investigation also discovered that Barrucci cashed $740 in checks from closed accounts at Northeast Bank and Rainbow Federal Credit Union. One $200 check was made out to Barrucci and the others were made out to a juvenile.

Hill said none of the missing cash was deposited into Barrucci’s account, and he has not determined where it went.

“We haven’t been able to show where the money actually went to, other than to her,” he said.

No money has been repaid to the business, but the theft is covered by an insurance policy.

Attorney Maurice Porter was appointed to represent Barrucci on Thursday. Barrucci is free on personal recognizance bail with the condition that she not go onto the premises of Common Ground Counseling.

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