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Woman jailed for defrauding business more than $450,000


TRURO – Anna Mae Ellis sat with her head down, hands clasped together between her legs.

She barely raised her eyes as she listened to Judge Warren Zimmer during her sentencing hearing.

He asked her to stand. She obliged, eyes remaining down.

She was sentenced to two years in custody for using forged documents as if they were genuine and making false entries into electronic accounting software. Each criminal charge carried the same sentence, yet concurrent to the other.

In delivering the sentence, Judge Zimmer said Ellis abused her position of trust and her friendship with Keith Gillis, the owner of G&G Computers, her victim.

"She was motivated by personal profit or greed," said the judge. "This was not a matter of it being over a single occasion. She knew her activities were causing Mr. Gillis personal and financial stress."

Ellis stole a total of $455,051.26 from the business between Sept. 26, 2008 and Nov. 22, 2013, while working as his bookkeeper. In an agreed statement of facts presented to the courts during the course of the matter, almost $380,000 of that money was paid out to Ellis's own company, Heritage Accounting Services. The remaining was in Ellis's name.

"Ms. Ellis had ample opportunity to consider the impact of her actions, but she didn't stop on her own. She was caught," said Zimmer.

Along with the custodial sentence, a victim surcharge of $200 per charge was issued, with three years to pay the fines.

But Zimmer also ordered restitution in the total amount, to be paid to Gillis.

After Ellis was sentenced, Gillis said he may never see that money.

"It's going to be pretty hard for her to get a job that pays enough money," he said.

For more than a year, Gillis has been attending court appearances and fighting for his business, one he thought about closing at one time, not realizing why he wasn't making money.

"I think it's great," he said of the sentence. "It's closure for sure. You're always thinking someone might get away with it, but the judge reviewed everything. It's better than I thought, so I'm happy."

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

 

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