A Felton woman was sentenced in federal court Wednesday to five years in prison and was ordered to repay the more than $1.3 million she stole from the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation.
Christine S. DeJuliis, 53, will also be on probation for three years once she's released from prison and has to pay the Internal Revenue Service $170,890 for failing to pay taxes on the money she stole, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.
She previously pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges.
"The foundation is pleased that this matter has been resolved and is focused on moving forward and continuing to support the worthwhile organizations that we partner with on important social, health and children's issues," Spokeswoman Kim Paone wrote in an emailed statement.
Stolen money: DeJuliis, who was hired by the foundation in 1999, stole $1,376,885 from the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation between January 2003 and July 2009, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
She was able to steal the money by creating fictitious businesses with bank accounts and then made it appear that the foundation awarded grants to the businesses. Instead, she transferred the money into her personal accounts, authorities said.
The foundation found out about the lost money in 2009 and referred the matter to federal law-enforcement officials.
During the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane noted that DeJuliss violated "significant trust" that came with her position in the foundation, the release says
Remorseful: Also during sentencing, a remorseful DeJuliis said she will pay back the stolen money. However, James Clancy, assistant U.S. Attorney, said she has yet to pay back any of the money to the foundation, the release says.
In the wake the thefts, the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation installed new board officers and members to oversee the donation process, as well as implementing new internal controls and policies in 2009, Paone had said.
The foundation supports other nonprofits with a focus on community health, youth and serving the economically disadvantaged in communities in which Bon-Ton stores operate.
DeJuliis' attorney could not be reached for comment.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.