Woman pleads guilty to embezzling $165,000 from Hunger Free Vermont in Burlington

BURLINGTON – A former finance director of the non-profit organization Hunger Free Vermont, pleaded guilty on to a federal forgery charge for embezzling around $165,000.

Hunger Free Vermont (HFV) is a non-profit educational and advocacy organization which provides nutrition education and access to nutrition programs to Vermont’s children, families and communities.

The United States Attorney says Sally Kirby, 61, of Essex, embezzled about $165,000 from the organization, between June 2009 and September 2015.

According to authorities, Sally Kirby was hired as the Director of Finance for HFV in 2004 and her duties included handling payroll, accounts payable, financial statements and grant allocations.

Authorities say Kirby primarily pilfered the money by issuing HFV checks to herself without authorization, then forging the executive director’s signature on the checks.

Prosecutors say Kirby deposited many of the checks into a personal credit union account she maintained and attempted to conceal her embezzlement by altering some entries in HFV’s accounting system to make it appear as though checks she issued to herself had been made payable to vendors.

The embezzlement was discovered last October and on April 25, 2016, the United States Attorney’s Office filed a one-count information charging Kirby with forging checks of her employer.

Kirby pled guilty to that charge on Monday and was released on conditions pending sentencing, which is set for September 26.

Kirby faces up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

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