BRATTLEBORO — The office manager of one of Brattleboro’s best-known law firms has agreed to plead guilty to charges she embezzled $200,000 from the firm.
Kimberly Wilde, who managed the finances at the Potter Stewart Jr. Law Firm, entered into the plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office earlier this week, according to documents on file in U.S. District Court.
According to the plea agreement, Wilde agreed to make restitution to the firm, which is headed by attorney Potter Stewart Jr., whose father was a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Wilde agreed to forfeit $200,000.
Wilde was charged with using the firm’s bank accounts and credit cards to pay personal bills. Under the agreement, she agreed to plead guilty to a charge of wire fraud.
Court records stated the embezzlement started in 2007 and continued until January 2013. Wilde allegedly issued checks to herself, including payments for personal expenses, and also used a signature stamp of an authorized signer without authorization.
In other cases she forged the signature, court records stated, and she also made electronic transfers of firm funds to pay her personal expenses, and also used the firm’s credit cards for her personal expenses.
“In an effort to conceal her embezzlement, Wilde falsified and altered bank statements and other financial records,” the charges read.
The plea agreement came only a few days after the formal filing of charges against her, according to court records.
Sentencing, according to the agreement, is within the discretion of the court, but she could be sentenced up to 20 years, a three-year probation term, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gain in the embezzlement.
The U.S. attorney’s office agreed to seek a sentence “at the low end” of the federal sentencing guidelines, and that she will receive credit for her acceptance of responsibility, contingent on cooperating with a federal pre-sentence investigation.
According to court records, Wilde is being represented by Brattleboro attorney Thomas W. Costello, and the case is being prosecuted by Gregory L. Waples, assistant U.S. attorney.
No address was given for Wilde in court records.
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