CLEARFIELD – A Houtzdale woman has been accused of taking more than $56,000 from her employer by writing herself extra payroll checks.
Mary Jean Miller, 52, 253 Juniata Ave., Houtzdale is facing 10 felony counts each of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. The charges were filed with District Judge Richard Ireland on April 21 and she was arraigned Monday. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 4.
The charges stem from her actions while employed by Clearfield Face Veneer in Lawrence Township. Part of her job responsibilities was writing the payroll checks. She allegedly wrote several extra checks to herself and also paid herself for extra vacation and personal days.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were contacted by the owner of the company, Jerry Bloom. He told them the company is no longer in business but when two separate accountants went through their records they discovered a discrepancy of $56,374.33. Closer investigation of these numbers revealed that these funds were allegedly dispersed to Miller through checks written from a company checking account and were signed by Miller.
Miller was given the responsibility of writing payroll checks in December of 2006. She was given the privilege of signing the checks herself without the need for any additional signatures, according to the complaint.
It was the policy of the company that employees could sell back their vacation time. The maximum Miller would have each year would be 10 vacation days and two personal days. In 2007 she was paid for 32 vacation/personal days, in 2008 for 22 days, in 2009 for 29 days, in 2010 for 35 days, in 2011 for 40 days, in 2012 for 22 days, in 2013 for 24 days, in 2014 for 40 days and in 2015 she was paid for 25 vacation days, according to court records.
She allegedly started writing the extra checks to herself just after she was given the responsibility of writing payroll checks. On Dec. 1, 2006 she wrote two additional checks to herself for $361.92. Police say she wrote five additional checks for that amount in December of 2006. The total in that month alone is $2,533.44.
According to court documents, she paid herself an extra $3,301 with 11 extra checks in 2007; in 2008 she had a total of $4,164 in 10 checks; in 2009 it was a total of $6,076 in 15 checks; in 2010 she received 15 additional checks for a total of $6,200; in 2011 she wrote 11 additional checks totaling $5,500; in 2012 she wrote seven extra checks for $3,700; in 2013 she received 14 extra checks for a total of $5,900; in 2014, she received $9,700 in 21 additional checks; and in 2015 she wrote 10 additional checks for a total of $4,500.