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Arutunian sentenced to 24 months

Peggy Ann Arutunian, 72, of Mathews was sentenced by Mathews County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Shaw on Wednesday to 12 months in jail for each of eight counts of embezzling funds from the Animal Care Society of Mathews. Shaw suspended nine months of the sentence on each count, leaving 24 months to be served.

Arutunian pleaded guilty to and was found guilty of the charges in March. She admitted to embezzling $42,326.44 over a period of 16 months, from Sept. 1, 2015 to Dec. 16, 2016, while serving as treasurer and board member of the Animal Care Society.

In a courtroom packed with members of the Animal Care Society, along with several of Arutunian’s personal friends, Arutunian testified that she began embezzling funds because of a sudden increase in the cost of medications she had to take for various illnesses. She said one drug that had been added to her medication list was $450 a month, and that together all the medications she had to take came to $750 or more every month.

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