Doreen Goucher, 62, of Atlantic Beach, has been charged with...

Doreen Goucher, 62, of Atlantic Beach, has been charged with grand larceny in connection with the theft of $250,000 from an architectural firm where she worked, District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. (Feb. 14, 2013) Credit: NCDA

An Atlantic Beach woman working as a bookkeeper has admitted she stole more than $250,000 from her employer and used the money for personal expenses, including to pay off a home-equity loan and credit cards, Nassau County prosecutors said.

Doreen Goucher, 62, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one-count of second-degree grand larceny before Judge Valerie Alexander at First District Court in Hempstead.

She is due back in court for sentencing on Jan. 22 and faces up to 15 years in prison.

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a news release that Goucher took $258,731 between June 2006 and December 2011 while working for an architect in Inwood. She withdrew funds from company accounts, forging her employer's signature on more than 116 checks, the release said.

She used the check for personal expenses, including paying off a home-equity loan and personal credit card accounts, prosecutors said.

She covered the thefts by creating unauthorized personal credit and loan accounts that appeared to be legitimate company accounts. She was discovered when an internal audit of the company's finances was performed and discrepancies were discovered and turned over to the district attorney's office for further investigation in January 2012, prosecutors said.

Goucher worked for the company for 14 years before being terminated in December 2011, the release said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mistated that Goucher was arrested Tuesday. She pleaded guilty Tuesday.

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