Former Mass. museum CFO pleads guilty to theft

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – The former chief financial officer of a Massachusetts museum has pleaded guilty to stealing $1.3 million from the nonprofit and using the money for personal expenses.

Peggy Kempton of Hollis, N.H., pleaded guilty on Wednesday to 14 counts of larceny over $250, fraudulent use of credit cards, and making false entries in corporate books in connection with the theft from the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Mass.

Prosecutors say Kempton used the money to pay her children’s college tuition and to buy clothes. She tried to cover her crimes by manipulating the books to make it appear the money was spent legitimately.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 9. Prosecutors have asked for a 3- to 5-year sentence. Kempton’s attorney, who has said she suffers from psychiatric problems, will ask for a lighter sentence.

Fruitlands Museum is a cluster of historic buildings on the former site of the utopian community of Fruitlands. The buildings were constructed in 1910. The Fruitlands Museums Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.


Information from: Telegram & Gazette,

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AP-ES-05-06-10 0915EDT