The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office secured a guilty plea in an embezzlement of
public funds case on Friday.

Elizabeth Hakes, 48, of Lanesborough admitted in Berkshire Superior Court on Friday to embezzling shy of $50,000 from Berkshire Works and Austen Riggs Center. She pled
guilty on two counts of larceny over $1,200 by a single scheme.

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office requested 18 months of incarceration and two
years of probation following. Defense counsel requested a suspended sentence and
two years’ probation. The state’s sentence guidelines call for up to two years of
incarceration.

Judge John Agostini sentenced her to two years at the House of Corrections, with one
of those years being suspended, and two years of probation following.

Hakes managed federal grant funds for job creation programs at Berkshire Works. She
used approximately $21,000 of that for personal use between May 2016 and August
2017. Hakes then embezzled approximately $26,000 from Austen Riggs Center while working there between October 2017 and October 2018.

District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.

This was an abuse of taxpayer money intended to help residents improve their lives.
Those who work in the public sector have the responsibility to use taxpayer’s funds to strengthen the community they live in. Crimes like this undermine the public’s trust in
government, My office prosecutes these ‘white-collar’ crimes with the same vigor as any other type of crime.