A Washington County judge sentenced a 43-yearold Hartford woman who stole thousands of dollars from two nonprofit organizations to three times the amount of jail time recommended by the prosecution. Jennifer L. Horner was sentenced to 90 days in the Washington County Jail on Thursday and five years probation by Judge Todd Martens after she pleaded guilty to one count of theft in a business setting of $10,000 or more, a felony.
Martens told Horner that he wanted to send a message that such crimes will not be tolerated.
“There are a lot of people who are in positions like yours in nonprofits and may be tempted to do what you did,” Martens said. “They need to take their positions of stewardship of donated money seriously and if they don’t, there will be serious consequences.” Horner stole about $45,000 from the Erin School Parent Teacher Council and almost $20,000 from the Erin Baseball Club over a period of several years while serving as volunteer treasurer for both organizations.
Horner faced a second theft charge in relation to the embezzlement from the baseball club but it was dropped as part of a plea agreement. She has paid back the money she took from that group.
She was punished with 90 days in jail and five years on probation. She also now has a felony conviction that will affect the rest of her life and has already started paying restitution. Is that enough for stealing $45k without violence?
I think it’s about right. It serves the purpose of both punishment and deterrence.
This is a good reminder that even those little volunteer organizations can handle a lot of money. It is important to have appropriate financial safeguards in place.