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TMCNet:  Ex-employee ordered to pay restitution to Andover Liquors

[November 22, 2012]

Ex-employee ordered to pay restitution to Andover Liquors

Nov 21, 2012 (Andover Townsman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A four-time employee-of-the-month at Andover Liquors in Shawsheen Plaza was in Lawrence District Court on Tuesday morning, Nov. 13, after she was accused of stealing $10,000 from her employer.

The district attorney's office sought a guilty finding, but the case was continued without a finding. Marie Collins, 23, of North Andover, will serve a one-year supervised probation, must pay $250 in restitution and perform 50 hours of community service, according to Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's office. She was also given a stay-away, no contact order, meaning she must not be in contact with the store or its employees, said Monahan.

At the end of the one-year period the case will be dismissed, according to Collins' lawyer, J. Gregory Batten.

According to Bob Gilbert, the store's owner, Collins concocted a scheme where she did not ring in the proper amounts of liquor sales at the cash register. Rather, she pocketed cash while pretending those sales were less expensive bottle returns and rang that bottle return information into the cash register.

Collins did this for a four-month stretch -- from October, 2011 to February, 2012 -- and stole $10,000, said Gilbert.

The numbers weren't adding up over those four months, said store manager Chris Taken. Last February, he fired Collins and also filed a court order to keep her away from Andover Liquors, he said.

A video from the store shows Collins pocketing cash while working, Gilbert said.

Gilbert, who attended the hearing and spoke as a victim, said Collins has returned $4,000 and insurance will cover $6,000.

He said he was surprised to learn what had happened as he considered her a very good employee.

"Lives with her parents, goes to Salem State [College], has a horse and now works at [a restaurant] in Methuen," Gilbert said. "I guess you never know." "She worked here 15 months and was a good employee," Taken said.

On the day she was fired, Collins admitted to taking the money and said she was sorry, Taken said.

"She talked about a new computer for school and a trip to Hawaii when she worked here," Taken said. "I never asked how she got the money for those big things." ___ (c)2012 the Andover Townsman (Andover, Mass.) Visit the Andover Townsman (Andover, Mass.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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