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Woman embezzled nearly $900,000

December 10, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Chambersburg, Pa., woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft scheme of more than $500 and forgery for taking almost $900,000 from a local business where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Mary Taylor, 39, worked for Turner Development Co. for almost 16 years, acting as its bookkeeper and accountant for several years, Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes said Wednesday in Washington County District Court.

Taylor, whose address is listed in online court records as 1408 Mallard Drive East in Chambersburg, Pa., deposited unauthorized checks into another company's account from about March 2006 to September 2008, Rozes said.

The company into which the checks were deposited belonged to Taylor and her husband, Washington County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Roy Harsh said.

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While working for Turner Development Co., Taylor also had access to American Express credit cards and charged more than $168,000 in bills that were owed by her and her husband's company, Rozes said.

She wrote $72,135.03 in checks to another company, and she forged signatures on another $15,221 in payroll checks, Rozes said.

Her husband had asked Taylor to request help with funding their business from Frank Turner, president of Turner Development Co., her defense attorney said.

Investigators believe the total taken is $879,020, Rozes said.

Taylor had shown no remorse for her actions, he said.

"The enormity of this betrayal of trust calls for incarceration," Rozes said.

She faced an additional 43 charges, which on Wednesday were placed on the inactive docket as part of a plea agreement.

Taylor is in counseling, being treated for depression, her defense attorney said.

Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II revoked Taylor's bond and remanded her to the custody of the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

He also ordered that a presentence investigation be completed.

Taylor is expected to be sentenced Feb. 24, 2009.

Conviction on a theft scheme charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Conviction on the forgery charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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