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Former Bethlehem village clerk sentenced for embezzlement

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An Ohio County woman will avoid prison time, despite admitting to embezzling more than $127,000 from the village of Bethlehem.

Andrea McDonald was sentenced to 1-10 years of house arrest, but if she doesn't follow the rules she could go to prison.

"I am sorry for what I did,” said McDonald, a former village clerk. “I am sorry for embarrassing my family and the problems I caused the village of Bethlehem.”

The money was taken over several years. McDonald would take money from local utility tax payments and then add them to her sewer or water account. She also helped friends and family by taking money.

"She made a mistake, one excuse led to another, and finally it ended in a pretty bad situation,” defense attorney Martin Sheehan said. “So we would ask for mercy.”

In March, McDonald pleaded guilty to one count of felony fraudulent schemes. Her attorney called it a "Robin Hood" plan, where she would take from one group and give to another.

However, prosecutors and the mayor objected to that, calling it an "extremely complex and sophisticated crime."

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