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W.Va. woman faces embezzlement charge

March 11, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A woman accused of stealing up to $100,000 from her former employer was charged Monday with one felony count of embezzlement.

Elizabeth K. Currence, 47, of Providence Church Road in Hedgesville, W.Va., was being held in Eastern Regional Jail on $25,000 bail.

Currence worked at Spherion Co. in the Berkeley Plaza Shopping Center in Martinsburg from October 1999 until she was fired in January, according to Sgt. Russell Shackelford of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

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Police learned of the alleged embezzlement on Feb. 14, when Gary Hayes, the client service manager at Spherion, found what he believed to be suspicious checks, court records show. Hayes told investigators that he believed Currence may have been responsible.

While police interviewed Currence, she admitted to the embezzlement, records allege.

Currence told police that after an employee would leave the company, she continued submitting time cards for the person. When the paychecks arrived, Currence signed and cashed them, court records allege.

Currence was the office manager at Spherion at the time and was responsible for payroll, according to court records.

Currence told police she cashed at least 156 checks, and did so to support a gambling addiction and to pay for legal fees in other matters, Shackelford alleged.

As much as $100,000 may be missing from the company, Shackelford said. An audit is under way, police said.

A conviction on a charge of embezzlement carries a penalty of one to 10 years in prison.

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