A Peaks Island woman who charged more than $70,000 to various accounts belonging to her boss and his wife after he broke off an extramarital affair with her was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison and ordered to repay the money.

The fraud case against Sharon Conley, 56, took years to prosecute because of its complexity, and it became a scandal on Peaks Island, which is part of Portland and has a year-round population of less than 1,000.

Conley was a friend of her boss, Paul Bridges, and his wife, Susan Winslow, before her affair with him unraveled in the fall of 2008 and Conley threatened to take revenge against Bridges, according to court records.

Bridges and his wife, who also live on Peaks Island, had hired Conley starting in 2005 to work in various jobs, including bookkeeper for Bridges’ business, Call Paul, which island residents use for services such as home repairs and car rides, court records said.

As bookkeeper, Conley gained access and control of Bridges’ and Winslow’s personal and business information and financial accounts.

Conley’s attorney, Sarah Churchill, said she and the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank, had worked since 2011 to sort out the case, in which Conley made unauthorized purchases for herself on multiple credit cards and bank accounts and made legitimate purchases for the business.

At Conley’s sentencing in U.S. District Court in Portland, Frank said the government could show that she charged $15,585 to credit cards in Winslow’s name and double-billed one of Call Paul’s customers; made unauthorized use of other Call Paul business accounts, Susan Winslow’s personal bank account and a home equity line of credit on the Bridges-Winslow home; and used US Air Mastercard convenience checks.

Conley pleaded guilty on April 3 to charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft.

U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby also sentenced Conley on Tuesday to serve three years of supervised release after her prison term and to pay $72,282 in restitution.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

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