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December 26, 2012

Theft case settled

Ex-Pentucket board member agrees to pay alleged victims

NEWBURYPORT — The former chairwoman of the Pentucket Regional School Committee — accused of stealing as much as $60,000 over several years from a West Newbury couple who hired her to oversee their personal finances and small business — escaped jail time last week after agreeing to pay back her alleged victims.

As a result of the agreement, the majority of the 30 charges of credit card fraud and larceny against Maureen A. Moran, 3 Landau Lane, Merrimac, were dismissed with prejudice by the state. Three counts of falsifying/omitting entries in books were dropped as well under the legal term nolle prosequi, meaning the state declined to prosecute.

Moran turned herself in to state police last March and was arraigned in Newburyport District Court on nine counts of forgery of a check and larceny over $250, three counts of falsify/omit entry in books, one count of improper use of a credit card over $250 and eight counts of uttering a false check.

Had she been convicted, Moran, whose term on the Pentucket Regional School Committee expired in 2011, could have been sentenced to up to 10 years in state prison or two years in jail for each of the most serious felonies.

“We’re pleased with the outcome of the case,” Vincent Harrild, one of the victims, said.

Harrild said he could not comment on the settlement saying it would violate the terms of the agreement reached with Moran.

Essex County District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan confirmed the case against Moran was dismissed, but was unable to provide details of the settlement at this time. Kimball Monahan added the state’s decision to dismiss the case against Moran with prejudice means it cannot recharge Moran.

According to court documents, the charges against Moran stem from the period between July 2006 to March 2008, when she served as bookkeeper for the Boston Coaching Company, a small business focusing on career development and management run out of the home of a West Newbury couple.

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