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Lawsuit accuses bookkeeper of embezzlement.

Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard

A Eugene woman is accused in a lawsuit of embezzling well over $1 million from her longtime employer.

The suit filed in Lane County Circuit Court by an attorney representing Transition Management Inc. alleges that bookkeeper Doris Harris stole at least $1.2 million - and perhaps more - from the business during a 13-year period.

According to the lawsuit, Harris resigned in April in lieu of being terminated from her job at the timber company office on Valley River Drive in Eugene.

One week before her resignation, Internal Revenue Service investigators visited the office and questioned Harris and company president Janet Swanson. The investigation revealed that Harris had embezzled a significant sum of money, the lawsuit alleges.

Harris allegedly admitted the thefts and has said "she intends to sell or refinance her home to obtain cash to partially pay back the money embezzled from" Transition Management Inc., the lawsuit states.

Harris allegedly spent the stolen money "for her personal use," according to the suit.

The company anticipates being required to pay back taxes and penalties to the IRS as a consequence of the embezzlement, the lawsuit states.

Officials with Transition Management Inc. have hired an accounting firm to find out exactly how much money was embezzled, according to the lawsuit.

The company's attorney, Laura Montgomery of Eugene, declined to comment on the case when contacted last week.

Harris did not return a telephone message left at her home.

It is not known if an associated criminal investigation is being conducted. An IRS spokesman said he could not comment on whether or not the agency is involved in the case.
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Title Annotation:City/Region
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 31, 2010
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