AUBURN — A Lewiston woman accused of embezzling nearly $200,000 from the company where she worked has been charged with two felonies.

Sandra Morin Androscoggin County Jail

Sandra L. Morin, 56, of 40 Orestis Way, Lewiston, was arrested in January. An Androscoggin County grand jury indicted her last week on theft by unauthorized taking and forgery, both Class B felonies, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

She is free on $1,000 cash bail and supervised release. She was ordered to surrender her passport to police and not to go near nor have any contact with Androscoggin Title Co., where she worked.

Morin is scheduled to appear in 8th District Court in Lewiston later this month for arraignment where she’ll be asked to enter pleas on the charges.

According to an affidavit written by police Detective David Madore, Morin stole a total of more than $193,000 dating back to 2015 from the title company where she worked as an office manager. She had been working for the company since 1986 and was characterized by the owner as the “most trusted employee,” according to the affidavit.

She was in charge of payroll and the company’s checkbooks, the owner said.

Last summer, a loan officer at Camden National Bank called the owner of the title company to report that a $1,500 check drawn on the company’s account and payable to the bank was “trying to clear through Sandra Morin’s personal bank account” at that bank.

The deposit was flagged as suspicious. The bank had assumed the check had been made out to the bank to pay down the title company’s credit line.

The company owner told the bank the transaction was not normal and said he would speak with Morin when she arrived at work the next work day, July 23. On that day, the bank contacted the owner again to let him know of a $2,000 check drawn on the title company’s account that was earmarked to be deposited to Morin’s personal account at that bank. The owner advised the bank not to complete the deposit because it was unauthorized.

The bank’s loan officer investigated and found that four other checks from the title company’s account totaling more than $12,000 had been diverted to Morin’s personal account from March 28 to July 16.

Confronted by the title company’s owner about the banking activity, Morin admitted she had diverted company funds to her personal account and was immediately fired, Madore wrote in his affidavit.

Morin offered the title company’s owner a check for $10,500 to cover the loss of the company checks she had diverted, but the owner refused her check and further investigated any misappropriated company funds. He ordered a complete examination of the company’s general operating account and payroll account in an effort to determine whether Morin had committed any additional theft, according to the affidavit.

A bookkeeper and two certified public accountants were hired to carry out that task.

That investigation turned up an additional $28,011.35 disbursements that were unsubstantiated dating back to Nov. 15, 2015. Moreover, roughly $134,000 had been stolen by Morin in excess compensation through payroll in the form of “issued” checks and additional hours listed on “regular” checks.

Because of Morin’s padding of her compensation, the company had paid more than $10,000 in employer tax since December 2015. She also was responsible for the company paying more than $2,600 to her 401(k) account from January 2015 to mid-July 2018, according to the affidavit.

She also wrote checks from the title company’s general account that were deposited in her personal account at a credit union. In the checks’ memo lines, she wrote “petty cash,” “lunch,” “gift cards,” “gifts” and other expenses, Madore wrote in his affidavit.

Madore contacted Morin in September 2018 of his investigation and findings.

“Morin was visibly upset and advised she was told she should speak with a lawyer,” Madore wrote. “She also advised it was not that much and that the company owed her some of the money.”

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