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Colorado Springs woman accused of embezzling $500,000 from local business

A 43-year-old Colorado Springs woman has been accused of embezzlement and using the money to fund a gambling habit over the internet.

According to a Colorado Springs Police detective in an affidavit, the woman was stealing money from a welding supply company, which was dipping into its savings in order to keep the business running. The company had been struggling since 2008, when a decline in revenue was noticed, but thought it was due to the tough economy.

The suspect allegedly embezzled about $500,000 from the company, which had declared bankruptcy after being contacted by the IRS in 2010 for unpaid employment taxes.

The woman had been hired in 2005 to keep the welding supply company books in order.

Her alleged theft was discovered when the owners, a mother and son, were looking through books and saw evidence they believe indicates that the suspect forged her name on more than 200 checks. The checks were worth more than $461,000.

The son said he was shocked to see years of his business stolen from him. The affidavit said the owners suspected the woman had spent the money on personal expenses and on internet gambling.

The woman was arrested, but freed from jail on a $10,000 bond.

Embezzlement cases can be complex matters; financial transactions are often complicated. That means an effective defense requires an attorney experienced at conducting a thorough investigation of the facts and evidence before developing a strategy for negotiations or the courtroom.

Anyone who has been accused by prosecutors or an employer of embezzlement should begin the process of protecting their rights and interests by contacting an experienced attorney immediately.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, "Bookkeeper's gambling habit bankrupted business, police say," Lance Benzel, Nov. 1, 2011

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