Maine woman con­victed of em­bez­zling from Chi­nese

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By AMY HE in New York amyhe@chi­nadai­

A woman from Port­land, Maine has been con­victed of em­bez­zling more than $330,000 from a Chi­nese com­pany that wanted to in­vest in a pa­per mill.

The 61- year- old, Jody Flynn, will be sen­tenced Sept 29.

Flynn was charged with steal­ing money from Chi­nese com­pany Guangzhou Din­son En­gi­neer­ing and Trad­ing Limited (Din­son) between 2009 and 2010 that was sup­posed to be for the pur­chase of a pa­per mill in Bai­leyville, Maine.

Flynn and a busi­ness part­ner had formed Green­tree Re­new­able En­ergy Inc to help fi­nance the ac­qui­si­tion of the mill, de­spite having no prior busi­ness or man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence, court doc­u­ments show.

In 2009, through a hold­ing com­pany, Din­son trans­ferred $500,000 to an ac­count where Flynn was the sole signer. But the sale even­tu­ally shut­tered and Din­son re­quested that Flynn re­turn the money less any fees from the bank, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

um­ber of times de­fen­dant changed her story the ac­count of an un­re­lated en­tity in which she had a 50 per­cent in­ter­est”, court doc­u­ments said.

She used most of the money on per­sonal ex­penses, which in­cluded $20,600 for her daugh­ter’s tu­ition, $10,000 for her son’s car and a $60,000 in­vest­ment in real es­tate, said Leanne Rob­bin, the as­sis­tant at­tor­ney gen­eral who pros­e­cuted the case.

A to­tal of $332,641 was spent on per­sonal ex­penses, doc­u­ments show.

“At the time, Flynn had lit­tle of her own money. As soon as the Green­tree ac­count was emp­tied, Flynn ceased com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Din­son or [busi­ness con­sul­tant Mike Martin who fa­cil­i­tated the sale],” said the court doc­u­ments.

In de­po­si­tions, Flynn de­fended her­self by say­ing that she was sus­pi­cious that she would not be prop­erly com­pen­sated for the sale, and thus kept the money for safe­keep­ing.

“In the lit­i­ga­tion, Flynn has as­serted that she took the money for safe­keep­ing be­cause she sus­pected that Martin and Din­son were at­tempt­ing to com­plete the pa­per mill trans­ac­tion with­out com­pen­sat­ing her and Green­tree,” said the court doc­u­ments. “She in­tro­duced this the­ory af­ter the pa­per mill seller changed its mind and sold the mill to Din­son in Oc­to­ber of 2010 with Martin’s as­sis­tance.”

When Flynn was given doc­u­ments show­ing how she used the money for per­sonal ex­penses, she re­vised her ac­count, say­ing she had been “act­ing on be­half of Green­tree”, lend­ing her­self the money, court de­po­si­tion records show.

Ju­rors con­victed Flynn last week af­ter about an hour of de­lib­er­a­tion, the Port­land Press Her­ald re­ported. “They did not see this as a toughie, ap­par­ently,” Rob­bin told the pa­per.

Flynn’s at­tor­ney said that the jury’s de­ci­sion was an “un­for­tu­nate re­sult to a very com­pli­cated case” and they will be pur­su­ing an ap­peal, adding that the case should have been tried in civil court as op­posed to crim­i­nal court, as there had been no crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity, the at­tor­ney told the Press Her­ald.

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