DuBois Woman Accused of Stealing More than $120K Waives Hearing

(GantDaily Graphic)

DUBOIS – A DuBois woman who stated the “devil had control of her life” after she was accused of taking over $120,000 from her employer waived her right to a preliminary hearing Monday.

Cynthia Irene Clinton, 63, Showers Road, DuBois, the office manager and controller at Murray Honda is charged by Sandy Township police with 760 counts each of theft, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds and tampering with records plus five counts of forgery. She was originally scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday, but she waived her hearing Monday, sending the charges on to the Court of Common Pleas. Her bail is $25,000, unsecured.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, investigating Officer Josh Johnston toldClintonthat he knew how the thefts had occurred when he interviewed her in Dec. but asked her why she had done it.

Clintonreplied that she didn’t know. She knew it was wrong and tried to stop but couldn’t. She told him, “The devil had control of her life, almost like she was possessed or like she was two people,” it says in the affidavit.

She added that she felt responsible for the care of everyone else in her family such as her brother, who is disabled.

The investigation began Oct. 24 when Greg Murray, president of Murray Ford, contacted police because a secretary noticed an unusual transaction error on the accounting system at the dealership. After looking into the problem, she contacted the controller at the business who discovered the error was caused by the distribution of money to various departments’ employee benefits accounts. Those errors were tracked to the accounts receivable for personal benefits forClinton.

Further investigation revealed thatClintonhad increased her gross pay without authorization from 2008-2011, and made unauthorized contributions to her retirement account without deducting it from her pay. Cash payments involving car sales were short as was cash involving payments for the service department. She made unauthorized contributions to a Christmas club and an unauthorized vacation account, failed to deduct insurance premiums from her pay from 2005-11, and was making credits for parts and services from the business without deducting it from her pay in 2010 and 2011.

Clinton was described as the sole employee responsible for accounting and bookkeeping at the business including payroll, employee benefit deductions such as the Christmas club, retirement contributions and insurance as well as the day-to-day operations such as processing car sales involving cash.

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