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MMMG manager enters Alford plea

South Boston News
Amber Bradford
SoVaNow.com / October 16, 2013
A former office manager at MacCallum More Museum and Gardens in Chase City entered an Alford plea to charges of stealing more than $14,000 from the museum before fleeing late last year to Tennessee.

Amber Bradford entered the plea for 17 charges of forgery, embezzlement, uttering, and obtaining money under false pretenses in Mecklenburg County Circuit. The remaining 14 charges against her were dismissed.

In an Alford Plea, the criminal defendant does not admit the act, but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charges.

Bradford was MMMG’s office manager when more than $14,000 was discovered missing from the museum in late 2012. After fleeing to Oak Ridge, Tenn., Bradford was arrested there on Jan. 16, and returned to Virginia to stand trial.

MacCallum More’s Board of Directors first learned of the embezzlement on Dec. 21 when they discovered that fundraising proceeds had not been deposited in MMMG’s checking accounts, and the museum’s December bills were unpaid. Further investigation revealed that MMMG’s credit card had been used excessively for purchases not related to the gardens or museum. Checks had been forged and the bank account was overdrawn.

Chase City Police were notified, and paperwork was filed to locate, arrest and prosecute Bradford.

Sentencing for Bradford is set for Dec. 17. She could face imprisonment for up to 20 years on each count of embezzlement and obtaining money under false pretenses, up to 10 years for each count of uttering. In addition she faces fines of between $2,000 and $2,500 for the offenses.

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