RI woman gets 9 months for cafeteria thefts

June 11, 2010

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NEW LONDON, Conn.—A Rhode Island woman has been sentenced to nine months in jail for stealing nearly $335,000 from a school lunch program in Connecticut to cover her gambling debts.

Beverly Howard of Westerly, R.I. was sentenced this week in Connecticut to five years behind bars, with all but nine months suspended. She was also ordered to serve five years of probation upon her release and to repay some of the money. She pleaded guilty in April to first-degree larceny.

Howard was dining services director for East Lyme schools. Authorities say she embezzled money from her employer, Chartwells Dining Services, by taking cafeteria receipts and falsifying deposit logs.

Authorities say Howard lost more than $380,000 over six years playing slot machines at area casinos.

Howard expressed remorse in court.

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