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Md. Law Firm Office Mgr. Stole $700K

Posted Jan 16, 2008 1:55 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A too-trusted former office manager for a Maryland law firm pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing more than $700,000 from Nagle & Zaller over a six-year period.

Authorities say Christine McClain-Sloane, 41, embezzled the money between 1998 and 2005 by fraudulently writing nearly 250 firm checks and making some 1,400 charges to a firm credit card to pay for unauthorized personal expenses, according to the Baltimore Sun. Her crime reportedly was discovered by the law firm after she resigned and moved to another state in 2005.

She has not yet been sentenced, but the prosecution is expected to seek a prison sentence of between 18 and 22 years, as well as an order requiring McClain-Sloane to repay the money she stole. The embezzlement reportedly is one of the largest ever reported in Columbia, Md., where the law firm is located.

"This should be a wake-up call to any professionals and business people because what it really is, is a violation of the trust that was given to her," says P. Michael Nagle, the firm's founding partner. "It's really very important for businesses to have safeguards in place, which I did not have in place."

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