A year after her former employer accused her of embezzling funds from her late husband's New Hampshire law firm, Deborah Woods, 52, of Stratham has been indicted on criminal charges in the case.
The Rockingham Country Grand Jury indicted Woods this past Wednesday on five felony counts relating to charges she stole from her late husband’s law firm, Gage & Woods PLLC of Exeter. Stephen Woods, a partner in the firm, disappeared at sea in October 2005.
Woods was employed as a bookkeeper at Gage & Woods between January 2004 and June 2006.
She is indicted on three counts of theft, one count of forgery and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card, all Class A felonies except for the forgery charge which is Class B, according to Assistant Attorney General John M. Gasaway Jr., who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is not an indication of guilt. It means the grand jury found enough evidence to warrant a trial.
Each Class A felony charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison
The indictments allege that between January 2004 and last June, Woods stole from an estate fund, forged signatures and used a debit card from the Gage & Woods firm for personal expenses. A check for $109,389.24 is the subject of one theft and the forgery charge, Gasaway said.
Thomas Gage sued Woods last year and attached her property, including her home at 55 Bunker Hill Ave., claiming she stole more than $100,000.