Embezzling bookkeeper gets three years

Karen Anne Noel Saber

A woman who embezzled more than $250,000 over three years while working as a bookkeeper for a small residential treatment facility in Seaside was sentenced Monday, Nov. 1, to three years in prison for violating her probation.

Karen Anne Noel Saber, 55, of Astoria, was originally sentenced last year to five years probation. She was ordered to pay back $30,000 within a year by liquidating her property. After a year, she was required to pay $500 a month until the $250,000 was paid in full.

Since being placed on probation last year, Saber has only paid $622.50.

Judge Paula Brownhill revoked Saber’s probation Monday since she failed to pay the minimum of $30,000. Saber was arrested last month on a warrant, and appeared in court Monday for the probation violation hearing.

In addition, Saber violated her probation by failing to report a new address to her probation officer.

She pleaded guilty in July 2014 to embezzling the money from the prior owners of Awakenings by the Sea in Seaside. She pleaded guilty to 36 counts of first-degree theft during the second day of a trial in Clatsop County Circuit Court.

The Seaside-based residential facility opened in 2007. It is now operated by different owners for women-only addiction treatment.

Saber was hired in 2009 after being recommended. She suggested the company begin using direct deposit for employee payroll. From 2009 to 2012, Saber is believed to have pocketed thousands of dollars by putting state and federal payroll tax payments into her own accounts instead of submitting them to the Internal Revenue Service.

When threatening letters began showing up in the spring and summer of 2012 from the IRS, the president of the facility hired a certified public accountant to go over the bookkeeping.

The information was then turned over to the Seaside Police Department.

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