Contact: Major Todd E. Catlow, Detective Commander Telephone: (401) 444-1005
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, announces that on March 28, 2014, members of the State Police Financial Crimes Unit arrested former Cumberland Fire District Tax Collector Karen B. Lambert, age 48, of 15 West Wrentham Road, Cumberland, Rhode Island for the alleged embezzlement of funds from the Cumberland Fire District and a Woonsocket property management company.
In June 2013, the Financial Crimes Unit received information that tax payments were missing from the Cumberland Fire District. The investigation by the Financial Crimes Unit led to the execution of a court-authorized search warrant on the Cumberland Fire District Tax Collector's Office to secure the financial records.
The Cumberland Fire District cooperated fully with the investigation and hired Daniel J. Rubiano, CPA and Company, Inc. to forensically review their financial records. Based on the investigation by the Financial Crimes Unit and the forensic review, an arrest warrant was obtained for Karen B. Lambert alleging that she:
• Embezzled $83,761.54 in cash tax receipts from the Cumberland Fire District from September 2008 through August 2013. • Used Cumberland Fire District money to pay for and install a new personal home computer system at her Cumberland residence at a cost of $700.00. • Embezzled $11,667.93 from a Woonsocket property management company where she worked as a bookkeeper and used the money in an attempt to cover her theft from the Cumberland Fire District.
Lambert was appointed to the position of Assistant Tax Collector at the Cumberland Fire District in September 2006 and promoted to Tax Collector in June 2008.
Lambert was processed at Rhode Island State Police Lincoln Woods Barracks and arraigned on two counts of felony Embezzlement in Sixth Division District Court before the Honorable Associate Judge Christine S. Jabour. Lambert was released on $20,000 personal recognizance and is scheduled to appear in Sixth Division District Court on June 2, 2014 for a pre-arraignment conference.
The penalty for a person convicted of felony embezzlement is a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or three (3) times the value of the money or property embezzled, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years, or both.