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A former secretary for a Hudson Valley law firm has been sentenced to up to 13 years in prison for stealing nearly $700,000 from her employer over a seven-year span.
  
Mary Merten of New Paltz was sentenced Tuesday in Ulster County Court to 4 1/3 years to 13 years and also ordered to pay more than $600,000 to the Kingston law firm where she was employed as a confidential secretary.

The judge who sentenced the 44-year-old Merten noted that her thefts forced one of the victims out of retirement and looted a child's college savings.

She pleaded guilty earlier this year to embezzling from the law firm of Riseley and Moriello.

The $625,000 she was ordered to repay to her victims was the amount agreed to during a restitution hearing.



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