Guilty Plea from Lowell Woman Who Embezzled from Non-profit

November 15, 2018

Assistant Attorney General Paula DeGiacomo, left, attorney Michael Heiner and defendant Amy Young in Middlesex Superior Court last month. (SUN PHOTO/ Alana Melanson) Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

WOBURN -- A Lowell woman accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from a Chelmsford non-profit that serves the disabled will serve two years of probation after pleading guilty in court Wednesday.

Former LifeLinks employee Amy Young pleaded guilty to a single charge of larceny over $250 by a single scheme in Middlesex Superior Court.

Judge Bruce Henry sentenced Young to two years of probation and ordered she not be employed in a fiduciary or financial capacity during the term of the probation.

Young initially pleaded not guilty to the charge at her Oct. 2 arraignment.

She was charged in September with embezzling more than $100,000 from LifeLinks between November 2011 and 2016 after an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office that spanned more than a year. LifeLinks believes the thefts go back about seven fiscal years, and total $286,000.

LifeLinks, a nonprofit affiliated with The ARC of Greater Lowell, provides services and support to Greater Lowell adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Young was hired there as a unit case manager in April 2006, and promoted to director of family support in June 2013.

According to the statement of the case from the AG’s Office, Young used her position for personal and family gain, forging documents to obtain checks her employer thought were for legitimate purposes to serve clients. She used the state-provided funds for home modifications, family medical bills, gym memberships, home items, electronic equipment, a party for her son and various items and services for her disabled daughter.

LifeLinks’ Finance Department uncovered the embezzlement scheme in July 2016 upon requesting backup documentation for an already approved $2,2000 check purportedly for a “Family Support Parents Night Out” at a local bowling alley on July 16, 2016, and a $440 service charge on her LifeLinks Visa card on the same date purportedly for a “Best Club” event for young adults.

Young provided names of clients and families involved in these purported events, but the case managers and families, when contacted, said no such events occurred. The case managers also revealed that Young’s Facebook messages around that time showed she had hosted a sorority union party at the bowling alley on that date.

Young was suspended on or about Aug. 31, 2016 and terminated the following day. LifeLinks initiated an investigation of previous check request forms and documentation submitted by Young and confirmed with certain vendors that they “had never done work or performed services for the individuals” listed on the documents, “but that they had done work or performed services for Young or her family members,” according to the case statement.

Chelmsford police investigated the matter before it was turned over to the AG’s Office.

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