The former financial controller for PROformance Apparel, a sports clothing company in San Marcos, California, was arrested and charged with embezzling approximately $5.74 million from her employer after an accounts payable audit was conducted.
An arrest warrant was issued for Elizabeth Masters after she fled the state earlier this month, but she was caught and subsequently arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
An accounts payable audit in December 2011 discovered that Masters had been forging signatures on company payroll checks and depositing them into her personal bank account. She wrote over 700 checks during her nine years of employment with PROformance Apparel, with each check having an average amount of $8,125, totaling $5.74 million over time. Investigators allege that Master spent a majority of the stolen funds on a horse ranch.
Masters was fired immediately after the embezzlement was revealed, and she sold off horses and equipment from the ranch, totaling nearly $500,000, to begin paying back restitution. However, she fled California in March, but investigators found her in New Mexico shortly after the $2 million warrant was obtained.