BOSTON (CBS) – A former Harvard Law administrator will avoid jail time, but is required to write a big check to the university for stealing thousands of dollars from an account intended for students with disabilities.
On Thursday in Woburn District Court, Meg DeMarco admitted to sufficient facts and agreed to pay $45,000 in restitution by tomorrow.
Prosecutors argued for a guilty conviction on DeMarco’s record, but the judge decided on a “continued without a finding” ruling for a probationary period of 18 months.
That means as long as she follows through on the restitution and stays away from the Harvard campus, the case will be dismissed and will not appear on her record after November 2018.
According to court documents the I-Team exclusively obtained, DeMarco and colleague Darris Saylors embezzled more than $110,000 of school funds and purchased dozens of laptops, iPads and other expensive electronics.
The police investigation also found Saylors made a long list of online purchases on Amazon, even using a credit card to buy sex toys. Court documents say she then tried to hide the transactions by changing the descriptions to things like “textbooks for disabilities accommodations.”
A Harvard Law spokeswoman told the I-Team the school tightened procedures surrounding credit accounts and purchasing protocols after the incident.
When the I-Team approached DeMarco about the allegations in February, she was surprisingly candid and acknowledged she “made mistakes.”
Her attorney, Martin Kane, said she agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and went line-by-line through bank statements and expense accounts.
“She accepted responsibility, which is rare,” Kane told WBZ. “She wanted to resolve this and put it behind her.”
At court, DeMarco also returned an Apple laptop and two iPads. The I-Team has learned she is no longer employed at Babson College, where she was working when the allegations became public.
A Harvard Law spokeswoman declined to comment on Thursday’s outcome, citing the pending status of the other case.
Saylors was arraigned in March and released on personal recognizance. She is due back in court on June 2.
Ryan Kath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.