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East Cobb Legal Secretary Sentenced

Francine Fonger will serve three years in prison for embezzling more than $800,000 from a retired partner of her former law firm.

An East Cobb woman who pleaded guilty to mail fraud in August has been sentenced to serve three years and a month in prison.

Francine Fonger, 50, a former secretary at an Atlanta law firm, was accused of using her position as an assistant for a retired partner of the firm in an embezzlement scheme that lasted more than a decade.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta also announced on Friday that Fonger will be subject to three years of probation and has been ordered to pay $832,890 in restitution.

That's how much money prosectors accused her of embezzling from the retired law partner at a firm where Fonger was a long-time legal assistant. The name of the law firm was not disclosed by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

After being assigned to serve as the retired lawyer's personal assistant, helping him to pay bills, among other tasks, Fonger ultimately used his personal funds to make unauthorized payments to herself and to her creditors, according to the charges against her.

Prosecutors say these illegal transactions began as early as 1999 and continued to December 2010.

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