UMass employee pleads guilty to stealing from former employer

By Katie Landeck

Justin Surgent/Collegian

Amy Wing, the executive assistant to the director of Residential Life at the University of Massachusetts, pleaded guilty last Wednesday to stealing approximately $175,000 from former employer Myers Information System Inc.

From October 2009 to May 2011, Wing, 44, of Hatfield, stole the money through numerous fraudulent transactions, including writing company checks to herself, overpaying herself and using company credit cards to make personal purchases, according to an article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Wing worked as a bookkeeper for the Northampton-based company.

During the 19-month period in which Wing – who currently works as Residential Life Director Eddie Hull’s executive assistant– was embezzling money, she was caught by the officials at the company just once, according to the Gazette article.

Upon discovery, she pleaded for a second chance and promised to repay her employers. However, according to court documents, she continued to embezzle from her employer while paying back the amount Myers Information System Inc. had initially caught her stealing.

Wing hasn’t been removed from her position at the University, according to human resources documents. She was hired by the University on Oct. 16, 2011, before her grand jury indictment on Nov. 15, 2011.

The University is aware of the charges against Wing, according to UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.

Officials in the human resources department yesterday could not comment on if the University has a personnel policy in place that addresses what happens to an employee who is found guilty of a crime while employed by UMass.

Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Juan Jarrett was emailed for comment about if a personnel policy exists, but did not respond by press time.

Appearing before Judge Mary-Lou Rup in the Hampshire Superior Court on Wednesday, Wing entered a guilty plea to seven counts of forgery of a check; seven counts of uttering a false check; seven counts of larceny of more than $250; two counts of larceny less than $250; two counts of falsifying “entries in corporate books”; and one count each of embezzlement, forgery of a document “for the release of retirement funds,” credit card fraud and identity fraud, according to the Hampshire Superior Court documents.

When Wing appeared in court on Dec. 12, 2011, she pled not guilty to the charges.

At court on Wednesday, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Matthew Thomas recommended that Wing be sentenced to one to five years in state prison, followed by 10 years probation, according to court documents.

In the Gazette article, Thomas was reported as saying that the “blatant” and “callous” manner Wing stole the money makes jail time appropriate.

Attorney Lauren Follett, who represented Wing, asked for six years of probation, according to the Gazette. Follett, the paper reported, noted Wing’s lack of a criminal record.

Wing is set to reappear in court for sentencing on Jan. 11. According to the Gazette article, the date was set so the probation department would have “adequate” time to review the documents.

Hull refused to comment on the situation, saying that it is a personnel matter.

Wing could not be reached for comment.


Katie Landeck can be reached at [email protected].