AP audit leads to prison sentence for embezzlement

The former claims accountant for a company in Rockford, Iowa, will spend time in jail for her creation of an embezzlement scheme that resulted in more than $175,000 being stolen from the business' accounts.

According to The Associated Press, Patricia Freebury was found guilty of embezzling from her unnamed employer after an accounts payable audit revealed she had been forging checks from the company. Investigators found that Freebury wrote approximately 200 unauthorized checks to herself by signing her boss' signature. She would then enter the payments into the business' financial records as checks paid to various vendors. Freebury used the funds to buy vehicles. The news source reports that she has been sentenced to two years in federal prison and will be required to pay back the stolen amount in restitution.

This illegal activity was not the first time that Freebury had been convicted of embezzling money, writes the Globe Gazette. She was found guilty in 2007 of stealing funds from the Mason City Family YMCA where she worked as a bookkeeper. In that instance, an AP audit discovered that Freebury had taken approximately $25,000 from the organization's accounts. However, instead of serving time in prison, she was given five years probation.