A former GateHouse Media employee accused of embezzling more than a quarter-million dollars has been released from court custody after promising to return for a September court hearing.
Karen Sullivan, 53, from Braintree, pled not guilty when she was arraigned on Friday in Quincy District Court on charges of larceny over $250 by single scheme, and embezzlement. Police said Sullivan worked in the circulation department at the Patriot Ledger, and handled revenue for the Ledger as well as for other newspapers that were owned by parent company GateHouse Media.
Sullivan was released on $10,000 surety, meaning that if she doesn’t show up to her pre-trial hearing in September, she will have to pay the court $10,000.
Editors at the Patriot Ledger deferred comment to GateHouse Media, whose officials did not return calls seeking comment. The Patriot Ledger reported on May 31 that Sullivan is no longer employed at the paper.
According to Quincy Police, Sullivan allegedly had been taking money out of deposit bags and putting them into her own accounts from 2006 until March of 2013. A police report was filed by GateHouse Media on March 29.
“[Officials at the Ledger] noticed there was a discrepancy in the money,” said Quincy Police Captain John Dougan. “They did their investigation and called us in. We got search warrants for her bank accounts and as a result of that, we were able to charge her with embezzling.”
According to Dougan, Sullivan was in charge of collecting revenues for GateHouse’s local newspapers and also was responsible for reconciling bank statements.
Management eventually noticed an ongoing discrepancy in the funds. An employee also found deposit bags that had been tampered with in Sullivan’s trash, Dougan said.
Officials from the Gatehouse Media told police that they believed approximately $279,000 had been stolen in total, Dougan said.
Though Sullivan was to be arraigned last Wednesday, she did not show up for the hearing, Dougan said. Police issued a default warrant for her arrest, but Sullivan turned herself in to Quincy District Court on Friday.
According to Quincy Police Prosecutor Sergeant Richard Potter, Judge Kevin O’Day decided to release Sullivan on $10,000 surety. Sullivan is scheduled to be back in court on Sept. 12 for a pre-trial hearing.
Attorney Dan O’Malley, who is representing Sullivan, did not have a comment on Sullivan's arrest, but said that much of the evidence needs to be reviewed before the case can move forward.
"All we’ve done so far is arraignment, therefore there is much discovery out there that we have to get and go through," O'Malley said. "The allegation of the economic crime, there is a great amount of discovery, and we don’t have any of it yet. We’re in the infancy of the case at this point."