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Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Or More Stolen; Woman To Plead Guilty

She Was Controller Till 2010 Firing

By Steven Goode

August 05, 2011

A former employee at the Mark Twain House & Museum who was under investigation after more than $500,000 was stolen from the organization is expected to enter a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport Friday.

Donna Gregor is expected to plead guilty to charges of wire fraud and filing a false income tax return.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for filing a false income tax return is three years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Gregor was fired as controller in June 2010, when Twain officials discovered financial irregularities and reported them to Hartford police.

Twain House Executive Director Jeff Nichols said recently that the organization was able to recover $500,000 of its losses through an insurance policy covering employee theft. Nichols declined to reveal whether the museum's loss was greater than that amount.

But the Commercial Record, a real estate and business publication, reported in its July edition that it had reviewed the Twain House's public tax filings for 2009, which revealed that the museum reported a loss of more than $750,000 that year from theft.

As a result of the discovery, Nichols said, financial controls were reviewed and the museum adjusted its bookkeeping methods. Nichols said he has also taken a more active role in the museum's finances.

Steve Courtney, a spokesman for the Mark Twain House & Museum, said: "The Mark Twain House has been made aware that there will be a court proceeding involving a former employee and believes it would inappropriate to comment prior to that court appearance."

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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