The former chief financial officer for a Panama City, Florida business has been sentenced to eight years in prison after an accounts payable audit revealed that she had stolen more than $500,000 from her employer.
Julie McDonald was charged with five counts of grand theft after the AP audit discovered she had embezzled the amount from Textured Coatings of America Inc, according to WMBB-TV. Prosecutors alleged that the illegal activity took place over three years, from 2008 to 2011. The company's owners testified against McDonald and stated that while she was conducting the scheme, she had asked that 25 employees at the firm be laid off. They also said that the business' finances were being negatively impacted by the recession and that McDonald was well aware of this, the news source reports.
The audit report revealed that McDonald managed to steal approximately $500,000 by creating fraudulent checks coming from the company's payroll account, reports WTVY-TV. She then deposited them into bank accounts in her name and used the stolen funds to pay for personal items. The source states that when she was arrested, she had spent almost all of the money and Textured Coatings was only able to recover a small portion of what was taken.