Former Saugus selectman faces jail time after pleading responsible to embezzling $1.3 million


Authorities mentioned the defendant embezzled practically $1.3 million from Boston Middle for Grownup Training, which has been briefly closed since 2019.

The front of a grey building in Boston with "Suffolk County Courthouse" engraved above its doors.
Suffolk County Courthouse, which homes Suffolk Superior Court docket. Lane Turner/Boston Globe

A former Saugus selectman pleaded responsible to embezzling practically $1.3 million from a company that gives courses for adults, in keeping with the Suffolk County District Lawyer’s Workplace.

Mark D. Mitchell, 53, entered his responsible plea in Suffolk Superior Court docket to all 18 fees in opposition to him, together with 5 counts of larceny by scheme, six counts of improper marketing campaign expenditures, three counts of forgery, three counts of false entries in company books, and one rely of publishing false or exaggerated statements.

He now faces 18 months of jail time adopted by three years of probation, sentenced by Decide Michael Doolin on Thursday.

The case facilities round an embezzlement scheme that dates from 2011 to 2018, when Mitchell was the comptroller of the Boston Middle for Grownup Training. 

The whole quantity embezzled from the grownup program middle was $1,295,338, in keeping with court docket paperwork. Authorities mentioned that included $896,537 in checks Mitchell wrote to himself and $82,510 in checks made out to the Saugus Wings, a baseball group that Mitchell owned. The defendant additionally made $242,749 in checks to “unauthorized third-party organizations for his private profit and the advantage of his AAU groups” and $73,540 in checks to a BCAE teacher whose signature he solid earlier than placing the cash in his account.

Authorities mentioned Mitchell was assisted within the scheme with the assistance of Susan Brown, 70, and Karen Kalfian, 66, of Marblehead. Brown, who was the BCAE government director on the time, is accused of authorizing $565,000 in checks to advertising and marketing worker Kalfian for advertising and marketing providers, understanding that Kalfian had not really offered any advertising and marketing providers, in keeping with court docket paperwork.

Brown additionally allegedly helped cowl up their tracks when it got here to presenting monetary info to the BCAE board by falsifying reviews. 

Each Brown and Kalfian are scheduled for trial on Oct. 10. 

Throughout Mitchell’s time as a Saugus selectman from 2015 to 2019, authorities mentioned he mismanaged greater than $16,000 in marketing campaign funds and underreported donations he raised by over $15,000.

BCAE, based in 1933, introduced in 2019 that it will now not supply its grownup training courses. Within the e-mail, the middle mentioned it had been dropping cash over the previous few years due to declining enrollments and elevated cancellations. 

The middle has remained briefly closed, with BCAE stating it was “present process a strategic planning course of.” There was no phrase on when — or if — the middle will reopen.

“The scope of this scheme is made extra contemptible when one considers the group it victimized — a company that has offered instructional advantages to tens of hundreds of adults because it was based practically a century in the past,” the DA’s workplace mentioned in a press release. “This calculated theft struck on the coronary heart of the BCAE’s capacity to do what it does so properly and has carried out for thus lengthy. Mitchell’s plea is barely the start of the reparations which might be justified on this shameful breach of fiduciary and civic belief.”

Doolin additionally ordered that Mitchell pay restitution, an quantity that shall be determined throughout a Nov. 9 listening to.