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Woman Charged with Embezzling More Than $450,000 from Massachusetts Law Firm

A woman from Greenfield has denied charges of fraud filed against her in the Franklin Superior Court earlier this week, according to The Recorder. The woman, identified as Melissa A. Wright, has been accused of embezzling $450,000 from a Massachusetts attorney.

Wright pled not guilty to charges of uttering a false check, forgery of a check, and larceny over $250. Wright is due to appear in court again on January 23 for a change of plea hearing. She has been released on her own recognizance. The charges were filed against Wright on December 9 by a grand jury.

The money was embezzled from Mark I. Berson from the dates of January 1, 2008 to February 14, 2013, according to First Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steven E. Gagne. Wright was employed at Berson’s law firm and in charge of bookkeeping, accounts receivable, payroll, and accounts payable.

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“Attorney Berson has a very robust law practice,” Gagne said in an interview with The Recorder. “Unfortunately, the theft went undiscovered.”  The office of the district attorney began its investigation when Berson noticed issues with the finances at his law firm. “He had noticed some irregularities in his payroll and bookkeeping, both of which Melissa Wright had access to,” Gagne said. According to Gagne, no one knows where the money is anymore. “Her (Wright’s) attorney tells me the money is gone, it’s been spent,” Gagne said.  “It’s a very records-intensive case,” Gagne said. “A lot of banking records were subpoenaed and analyzed and distilled so that a grand jury could understand them.”

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