Ex-Conway Humane Society finance manager gets year in jail, must repay $47k
OSSIPEE – The former finance and event manager for the Conway Area Humane Society pleaded guilty Monday to taking thousands of dollars from the non-profit animal shelter and falsifying records to conceal the theft.
Constance Harger, 48, was sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to make restitution of $47,470 to Hanover Insurance on one theft by unauthorized taking charge. On a second count, she received a 2- to 5-year prison sentence suspended on condition of good behavior for two years.
Harger also was given a 12-month sentence on a misdemeanor charge of tampering with records to conceal her crime that was suspended on condition of good behavior for five years.
Harger was credited with serving 22 days in jail while awaiting resolution of her case. If the two suspended sentences are ever both imposed, they are to be served consecutively.
During an early morning hearing in Carroll County Superior Court, Judge Amy L. Ignatius prohibited Harger from working or volunteering with any charitable organizations without first notifying the Carroll County Attorney’s Office.
Last March, Harger was indicted on seven counts of theft by unauthorized taking and seven misdemeanor counts of tampering with records. The state agreed to dismiss five of the seven felonies and all but one of the misdemeanors in a plea agreement to avert a trial.
Money were discovered missing after Harger resigned in mid-April 2015 to take a job out west. According to police, the plane ticket Harger used to interview for that Colorado job was purchased with embezzled funds.
An accountant helping to train Harger’s replacement spotted discrepancies in the organization’s financial records and authorities were notified.
Harger was arrested in Vail, Colo., in August 2015 on a warrant and extradited back to New Hampshire to face prosecution.
At that time, authorities said Harger had used the money for personnel expenses, including utility bills, rent, gas, a cellular phone purchase, food and household items.
In the wake of the thefts, the Humane Society is now using an independent bookkeeper, has enhanced board and managerial training, adopted redundant cash handling practices and has an accountant frequently review its books.
An additional condition of Harger’s sentence is that she have no contact with the Conway Area Humane Society.