Bookkeeper for Public School Employees Union in Vermont Pleads Guilty, Sentenced

Amy Cousino was a union employee for only a year. But during that time, she racked up an impressive track record of embezzlement. Cousino, a former bookkeeper for Addison Northeast Supervisory Union (ANESU), pleaded guilty on Monday, April 12 in Vermont District Court in Middlebury to one count of felony embezzlement and one count of misdemeanor petty larceny. She had been charged last June. Cousino received a sentence (suspended) of 30 days to six months, plus five years probation, and was ordered to pay $41,746.91 in restitution, $10,000 of which she paid at sentencing.

Cousino, about 40, a resident of Bristol, worked as a bookkeeper during February 2008-February 2009 for the Bristol, Vt.-based ANESU, which represents public school employees. She was responsible for collecting and depositing lunch money receipts, maintaining business records, and managing accounts payable. According to court affidavits, her main skill appeared to be ripping off her union. She stole $22,568.40 from lunch money receipts; used a union Shaw’s credit card to make $6,359.21 in unauthorized personal purchases; and made $12,819.30 in purchases with a union credit card. The grand total: $41,746.91. Will Ms. Cousino repeat her exploits elsewhere? Here’s a note of hope that she won’t: Part of her sentencing required that she undergo mental health evaluation.