Ex-Chief of Hartford Nonprofit Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

The former president of a now-defunct Hartford community organization has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $205,000, much of which police said she gambled away.

The Journal Inquirer reports that Karen Lewis, 57, of Windsor, has received a suspended sentence and probation. Lewis pleaded guilty to first-degree larceny in Hartford Superior Court.

She's the former president and chief executive of the South Arsenal Neighborhood Development Corp., which operated economic and community development programs in Hartford's North End before it was dissolved in 2010.

A court document calls on Lewis to pay restitution of more than $205,000.

Between August 3, 2005 and December 31, 2009, she withdrew $192,504.24 from ATMs at both Mohegan and Foxwoods casinos, according to court paperwork. The debit card was also used to make debit card purchases at stores including Home Depot and Walmart and to pay her Comcast cable bill.

One of the non-profit's officials told police that Lewis was hoping for a big win at the casinos to pay the money back.

She resigned as executive director as of Dec. 31, 2009.

Among the conditions of probation are that Lewis may not gamble.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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