The former royalty manager for the Songwriters Guild of America has admitted that she conspired with her daughter and another relative to steal more than $1.2 million from the organization.

A former royalty manager for the Songwriters Guild of America has admitted that she conspired with her daughter and another relative to steal more than $1.2 million from the organization.

As first reported by Billboard, a federal criminal investigation launched last September after songwriter royalties were allegedly embezzled from the Guild by its longtime royalty manager Marsha Aiken and family members.

Aiken, 54, of Brooklyn, N.Y., admitted Thursday (Sept. 7) to conspiring with her daughter, Nicole Williams, 27, and a nephew in the embezzlement, which occurred between 2001 and 2005, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said.

She pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr. to conspiracy, and could get five years in prison when she is sentenced Dec. 18.

Aiken's daughter pleaded guilty to the same charge Aug. 30. A third defendant, Anthony Ray, 33, of Providence, R.I., who is Aiken's nephew, pleaded guilty Aug. 29 to the same charge, and to tax evasion.

Aiken admitted in court that, while working as the royalty manager at the guild office in Weehawken, she gave Ray $802,721 in royalty checks, and Williams $444,791 in royalty checks.

She told the judge the checks were deposited into bank accounts maintained by Williams and Ray in New York and Rhode Island, and that Williams and Ray shared the proceeds of the checks with her.

The Songwriters Guild, founded in 1931, seeks to advance and promote the profession of songwriting, focusing particularly on copyright protection. Its headquarters are in Nashville, Tenn., but it maintains an office in Weehawken.

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