GULFPORT, Mississippi — The voice of a former certified public accountant at Hancock Bank cracked before she offered an apology for using her position to embezzle thousands of dollars.
The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1CsOiC3) Doris Ruth Triplett told U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden Thursday she was sorry and has been paying for it and taking responsibility for it ever since.
The judge considered the fact that Triplett immediately confessed to her crime and had no prior criminal history, prior to sentencing her to six months in prison followed by six months of house arrest under electronic monitoring and three years of post-release supervision. She was also ordered to pay restitution.
Still, the judge said, Triplett had concocted an "elaborate collaborative effort" to embezzle a total of $27,150 from the bank. The money was taken between October 2012 and August 2013.
To embezzle the funds, Triplett used her position as a CPA to make 67 fraudulent transactions by creating fake appraisal invoices for inactive vendors that were in the bank's accounts payable system.
Triplett confessed to the crime and told agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation how she carried out the scheme when they first approached her during their investigation in December 2013.
Triplett's attorney wanted her to face house arrest instead of any jail time so she could continue working with her husband running a coffee shop to help support her family. The judge, however, said she had not only embezzled money, but also committed identity theft when she used the vendor's name and social security number on the Capital One account, both "very serious" crimes, Ozerden said.
Triplett's attorney said she has let her CPA license expire, so she is no longer a certified public accountant.
Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com
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