Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing $1.7 Million From Employer

A North Andover woman and former office manager of a Lawrence company has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to jail in connection with stealing more than $1.7 million from her employer for her personal use, according to Attorney General Maura Healey.

Dorothy Giard, 44, of North Andover, pleaded guilty Friday in Essex Superior Court to three counts of larceny over $250 and false entries in corporate books. After the plea was entered, Judge David Lowy sentenced Giard to two years in the house of correction with six months to serve and the balance suspended for a probationary period of 10 years. Lowy also ordered Giard to pay $1.7 million in restitution.

“This defendant abused her position of trust within this company and stole more than $1.7 million,” said Healey. “She spent that money on personal luxury items, including international vacations, a timeshare, high-end cars, designer products, and spa services.”

As general office manager of Diamond Ironworks, a steel fabricator in Lawrence, Giard’s responsibilities included managing the company’s books and paying the bills. Giard stole more than $1.7 million between 2007 and 2012 by using company funds to pay her personal credit card bills and through unauthorized charges to corporate credit cards.

Giard’s personal credit card bills included items such as expensive consumer goods, luxury services, and travel. An investigation revealed that she spent more than $114,000 in air travel to destinations such as Las Vegas, New York and London. She also spent nearly $20,000 toward a Lincoln MKX and a Mercedes. Other expenditures included car rentals, furniture, $20,000 in spa services, and $13,000 in designer retail products, among other personal and household expenses.

In a separate scheme between May, 2007, and December, 2011, Giard used Diamond Ironworks corporate credit cards for at least $41,000 worth of unauthorized purchases and travel services including airfare, hotels and rental cars. She also paid off a personal timeshare in Florida with company funds.

An investigation further revealed that she made false entries into the corporate books of Diamond Ironworks in an attempt to disguise her theft.

Giard was indicted last Oct. 2 by an Essex County Grand Jury and was arraigned on the charges in Essex County Superior Court last Nov. 5.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Doherty of Healey’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division, with assistance from Massachusetts State Police assigned to the attorney general’s office, financial investigator Jaclyn Morrill, Victim Advocate Megan Murphy and the attorney general’s Digital Evidence Lab.