EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 9, 2013

Lawyer: Convicted treasurer didn't mean to steal

BRENTWOOD — Alan Colby was a popular member of the Plaistow Fish and Game Club who did whatever he could to help, whether it was volunteering or having the parking lot plowed.

But the organization’s former treasurer also helped himself to about $200,000 of the club’s money.

Colby, 52, of Plaistow was convicted yesterday in Rockingham Superior Court on six felony theft charges for embezzling money over a two-year period.

The eight-man, four-woman jury deliberated for an hour and 20 minutes before finding him guilty on all charges. He faces seven and half to 15 years in state prison on each charge when he is sentenced in the future by Judge Kenneth McHugh.

Colby, dressed in a dark suit jacket and black pants, showed no emotion as the jury foreman announced the verdict. He stared straight ahead throughout yesterday’s testimony and turned his head to avoid being photographed.

The two-day trial featured testimony from former club president John Poole and former Plaistow police Sgt. Patrick Caggiano, who is now with the Atkinson Police Department. Colby did not take the stand and refused to comment following his conviction.

Colby remains free until his sentencing, which has not been scheduled. He was indicted on charges of stealing $104,000 from the club after repaying nearly $100,000 more. Colby transferred money between the club’s accounts and his construction company’s account.

The trial, which started Monday, resumed yesterday morning, with Caggiano answering questions about a tape-recorded interview with Colby.

During the interview, Colby admitted to taking the money to help fund his struggling construction company, Senter Brothers. The money was taken between July 2008 and July 2010, according to indictments.

“I borrowed money without permission — that’s the bottom line,” Colby said. “I needed the money.”

Colby also said taking the money was as simple as clicking the mouse on his computer.

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