Police: Secretary embezzled thousands

MGN Online
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Police said Deborah Lancaster was doing temporary work as a secretary and over the course of about a month, she'd made upwards of $40,000, but they say that money was made through embezzling.

Police say Deborah Lancaster wasn't supposed to have access to Lexington Contractors, LLC's business checks or credit cards.

"These items were locked in a cabinet in a safe. Unfortunately the keys to the cabinet and safe were in a desk in the area where this lady was working," said Detective Mike Helsby of the Lexington Police Department.

They say she cashed several of those checks and bought prepaid gift cards at convenience stores with the credit cards, then either used them or sold them.

"Here in Lexington, we're at about $41,000. We also have Louisville and Frankfort where charges were made on the business card. We're at about $60,000 statewide," said Helsby.

Police said they've seen a rise in embezzlement cases.

"I just don't think they realize the impact it has on the company," said Helsby.

They say in many cases, people try to hide personal charges among the many legitimate charges in a business account.

"Anyone that we charge with this type of employee theft or embezzlement, they never seem to think they took as much as they did. If you tell them the number, the amount of money that they stole, they always look at you and say, 'I didn't think it was that much,'," said Helsby.

Police said Lancaster will face ten counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, along with charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and theft by deception.

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