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Kathleen B. Pittman, 47, pleaded guilty today before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller to embezzling $20,742 from the Northtowns Orthopedics business at 8750 Transit road, East Amherst while she was administrator and billing secretary for the company from Jan. 4, 2006 until this past Nov. 19.

Senior Prosecutor Susan H. Sadinsky told The Buffalo News that Pittman of Bella Drive in North Tonawanda falsified patient billing records and kept for herself any patient co-pays made in cash during visits to the business. Sadinsky said Pittman, who is currently employed at two other Buffalo-area medical offices, admitted using the stolen funds for personal expenses.

Free on her own recognizance without bail pending her Sept. 9 sentencing, Pittman pleaded guilty to the highest criminal charge she had faced had she been convicted at a trial, Sadinsky said. She faces a maximum prison term of four years, the prosecutor said. Neither Pittman or her attorney could be reached to comment.