A Topsham woman is being sued by the credit union where she worked, which claims she embezzled at least $519,000 over the past six years.

Marsha Richard’s case has also been referred to federal authorities, though no criminal charges have been brought.

The Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union filed a complaint in Cumberland County Superior Court in November after confronting Richard, who worked for the credit union for more than 23 years.

Richard was named the credit union’s outstanding employee in 2009 for spending an average of 525 hours a year on community activities.

As part of her job, she reconciled bounced checks. When a check deposited in a member’s account bounced, she was supposed to remove the money from the member’s account and apply it to another credit union account, where the money was taken from originally.

Instead, she applied it to her own account or a family member’s, according to the complaint. The stolen money was being taken from the credit union, not members’ accounts.

An analysis of the accounts in August revealed the problem. The credit union’s president and Richard’s supervisor met with her in October and she confessed, according to the complaint.

In her defense filed with the court, Richard suggests the credit union did not take steps to mitigate its damages. She asks that the case be dismissed.

In answering the complaint, Richard refused to respond to many of the allegations, citing her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The credit union tried to find Richard’s accounts in other banks, but none reported any sizable deposits.

Police say acquaintances of the Richard family report that they would never have suspected; the family did not have a lavish lifestyle.

It remains unclear where most of the money went, authorities said. 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]