Red Cross Embezzler Gets 8 Years In Jail

A former finance director of a Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross has been sentenced to eight years in prison for embezzling almost a half-million dollars.

Dianne Williams, 58, of East Hartford was accused of embezzling some $480,000 by increasing her pay during her tenure at the former Middlesex Central Connecticut Chapter in Middletown, Conn. She served as finance director at the chapter from 2001 to 2010.

Williams was sentenced to 13 years in prison, suspended after eight, and five years of probation. She had been charged with first-degree larceny, which carried a maximum of 20 years to serve and $15,000 in fines.

Prosecutors had accused the 58-year-old of stealing $482,144 by increasing her salary over several years, beginning in 2006. Extra payments were authorized, her lawyer told the Journal Inquirer at the time.

A review by American Red Cross in June 2010 uncovered irregularities in financial records and reported discrepancies to the CEO of the Connecticut Region and the national Red Cross Investigations, Compliance and Ethics Division. The CEO contacted Connecticut State Police. In August 2010, Red Cross implemented a new regionalization, eliminating Williams’ position, according to reports.

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 though her attorney maintained her innocence, according to reports.