Red Cross official sentenced 8 years for embezzlement

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) -- A former official at an American Red Cross chapter in Connecticut has been sentenced to eight years in prison for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization.

Diane Williams, of East Hartford, was sentenced Tuesday after being charged with embezzling more than $482,000 from the Middletown-based chapter from 2003 to 2010.

Prosecutors say the former finance director used the money to inflate her paychecks.

A judge declared a mistrial in February 2016 after hundreds of pages of emails were belatedly disclosed. A jury found her guilty of first-degree larceny in May.

Williams' lawyer says she maintains her innocence.

The Journal Inquirer reports that Red Cross regional CEO Mario Bruno writes in a letter Williams' sentencing is "vitally important" the Red Cross.

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