Fmr. fire district tax collector accused of embezzlement

CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI)- Former Cumberland Fire District tax collector Karen Lambert, 48, of Cumberland has been arrested by members of the Rhode Island State Police’s Financial Crimes Unit.

Lambert is accused of embezzling funds from the Cumberland Fire District and a Woonsocket property management company.

The state police received information in June 2013 that tax payments were missing from the fire district.

Lambert is accused of embezzling $83, 761.54 in cash tax receipts from the fire district from September 2008-August 2013. She is also accused of using $700.00 of fire district money to pay for and install a new personal computer system at her Cumberland home. Lambert is also accused of embezzling $11,667.93 from a Woonsocket property management company where she worked as a bookkeeper in an attempt to cover her theft from the fire district.

“It’s a sad day for her family, she has three young girls,” said James Leonard, chair of the Cumberland Fire Department, “I’ve often thought myself what that’s going to be like for the family.”

She was arraigned on two counts of felony embezzlement and released on $20,000 bail. She is due to appear in court on June 2, 2014.

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