A former circulation manager for Kosciusko County, Indiana's Times-Union newspaper was fired earlier this year after an internal accounts payable audit uncovered evidence that she had misappropriated nearly $60,000 worth of funds over a period of six years, according to the Times-Union.
Rebecca Ann Walton, who worked for the paper between April 2001 and May of this year, recently pleaded not guilty to two counts of Class D felony theft.
According to Warsaw police – who handled the investigation after it was turned over to them by the company – Walton committed the act by keeping cash receipts given to her by vendors who delivered Times-Union newspapers in bulk. Although the majority of vendors paid the paper with personal checks, it was those who used cash who were allegedly targeted by Walton.
If convicted, Walton faces up to three years in jail per offense.
Incidents such as this underscore the need for companies to carry out regular internal AP audits. If the Times-Union had not done so, the embezzlement would have likely continued. However, conducting one earlier may have mitigated the newspaper's losses.