The Albemarle County woman who embezzled thousands of dollars from a school for children with special needs is headed to jail for it.
Mary Anderson embezzled $27,000 over a period of years from the Lafayette School and Treatment Center - repaying some of it as time passed, but owing $10,000 when the crimes came to light.
Anderson was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday in Albemarle County Circuit Court, but the judge suspended all but 20 days of that term. Anderson will spend 17 nights behind bars - in Virginia you only serve 85 percent of your sentence. She will begin serving her sentence on July 8.
Anderson spoke in court Wednesday. She admitted that she fell into a trap but recognized that still does not justify her actions.
"What I regret most is that others had to suffer," said Anderson. "I love those children and I love the staff there."
Many friends and family members also spoke in favor of Anderson in court Wednesday.
Judge Pedross said he couldn't recall a case where he's received so many letters in support of a defendant. He referred to the sentencing as a struggle and said to Anderson, "I want you to know that's what jail is like if you steal again."
Anderson pleaded guilty and has since repaid all of the money.
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