Feds charge former SSA employee with embezzlement

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Federal authorities charged Armine E. Sabatini, 46, of Mashpee, with embezzling nearly $150,000 from the Steamship Authority, her former employer.

Ms. Sabatini was charged on April 15 with three counts of embezzlement and two counts of wire fraud in federal court in Boston.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Field Division, and Falmouth Police Chief Anthony J. Riello made the announcement in a press release issued April 16.

In October 2001 and continuing through September 2009, Ms. Sabatini, a bookkeeper who worked in the Woods Hole office, created fictitious names of Steamship Authority customers and assigned refund credits to them, police said. She then credited Steamship Authority funds — purportedly payable to the fictitious customer names she created — to credit or debit card accounts she controlled.

Police said that during the relevant time period, Ms. Sabatini conducted approximately 382 fraudulent refund transactions and misappropriated a total of approximately $148,568 in Steamship Authority funds.

If convicted, she faces up to 10 years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, on counts one through three, and up to 20 years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on counts four and five.