SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A woman hired to oversee the accounting practices of a Holyoke-based nonprofit counseling center, is instead accused of stealing more than $80,000 from them.
Lauri Lewinski, 53, of Warren, is accused of using money that belongs to the River Valley Counseling Center on personal expenses, such as her car, electronics, and groceries.
Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that Lewinski was arraigned in Hampden County Superior Court on Thursday, charged with 12 counts of larceny over $250, six counts of false entry into corporate books, forgery, and uttering.
Prosecutors allege Lewinski, who was hired in 2005 as controller of River Valley Counseling Center, used different methods to take money from the licensed mental health facility, which has program locations in Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield.
Among the things she is accused of doing is issuing a more than $6,000 check to pay off the balance on her personal vehicle. Prosecutors also allege that Lewinski didn't deposit money collected from a low-cost lunch program for RVCC clients, and that she kept and used gift cards that belonged to RVCC, and
During her arraignment on Thursday, Lewinski was released on her own personal recognizance, provided that she did not contact any RVCC employees or any witnesses for the prosecution.
River Valley Counseling Center is a subsidiary of Valley Health Systems.