EAST MACHIAS, Maine — A woman who was named the local chamber of commerce’s volunteer of the year in April has admitted to stealing more than $5,000 from a nursing home patient.
Lisa J. Berg, 52, of East Machias pleaded guilty in September to one count each of theft by unlawful taking and forgery, both felonies. In addition to being ordered to pay $5,054.28 in restitution, she was given a one-year suspended sentence and two years probation, according to documents filed in Machias District Court.
“She forged checks written on [the victim’s] account by signing his name and filling out the checks and then having a friend cash or attempt to cash them,” Washington County District Attorney Matthew Foster said Wednesday. “There were also numerous unauthorized uses of the victim’s ATM/debit card.”
According to the criminal complaint, the thefts took place between May 3, 2014, and March 4, 2015, and the forgeries took place between June 4, 2014, and Feb. 3, 2015.
The victim was a resident of Narraguagus Bay Health Care Facility in Milbridge. Berg was not an employee but rather “just someone who he knew from prior to moving into the facility,” said Foster.
In April, Berg was named Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce 2015 Volunteer of the Year. A legislative sentiment was read in the Maine House in May congratulating her on the honor: “Ms. Berg has volunteered for school and athletic activities, community fundraisers and most recently for the American Legion Post No. 9 Ladies Auxiliary.”
Berg is currently president of the auxiliary of the Machias American Legion Post 9.