Former Employee Charged with Stealing $55,000 from Healthcare Charities 

A woman accused of stealing more than $55,000 from Healthcare Charities in Bangor is now officially charged with the crime. A Penobscot County grand jury indicted Laurena Cunningham, 46, for theft by unauthorized taking. The investigation into Cunningham began earlier this year when charity officials realized the money was gone. Penobscot County Assistant District Attorney, Mike Roberts, tells TV 5 News it appears Cunningham took the money over a year and half time span. According to Healthcare Charities, Cunningham “worked in a clerical role for several years, and was relieved of duties in early March after Healthcare Charities’ own internal check-and-control systems revealed accounting discrepancies.” ” One of her job functions was to actually handle the cash deposits and give them to a currier who would then take them to the bank. So she was the last person at the facility who actually handled the deposits before they went out,” said Roberts. Healthcare Charities notified donors and launched a thorough investigation when the accounting discrepancy was discovered. ” We appreciate the community’s overwhelming understanding and support as we continue through this unfortunate process. Our mission goes on,” said Lynne Spooner, vice chair of the Healthcare Charities board. ” The board is pleased with the swift and decisive action taken as soon as the discrepancies were discovered. We place a high value on transparency and integrity at Healthcare Charities, and those attributes remain intact.” Cunningham is scheduled to be in court in September. If she is convicted she faces a maximum of ten years in jail.