A Bonney Lake woman who admitted stealing more than $10,000 from her homeowners’ association in 2010 now is accused of embezzling from a landscape company where she worked.
Her former employer thinks she might have used some of the purloined money to pay off her court-ordered restitution in the homeowners’ association case.
Pierce County prosecutors this week charged Jeannette Kay Sturtz, 57, with first-degree theft and 11 counts of forgery. They allege she embezzled more than $25,000 from a landscape service where she worked as a financial controller.
Sturtz has been summoned to Superior Court later this month for arraignment.
Reached at her home by telephone, she declined to comment.
Authorities began investigating her in the latest theft in November 2011 after the owner of the landscape company made a report to Puyallup police.
The owner told detectives he’d discovered Sturtz, who worked as the company’s financial controller, had forged dozens of company checks and deposited them into her bank account, court records show.
The company ultimately discovered 59 such forged checks. Of those, 57 were made out to Sturtz. The other two were made out to Comcast and Puget Sound Energy.
The thefts occurred from September 2010 to September 2011.
The owner said he confronted Sturtz about the alleged thefts, court records show, and she reportedly told him, “I know I did it. I am so sorry. I will pay you back.”
The owner said he later found out Sturtz had been charged with stealing from her homeowners association in 2010 but avoided prosecution when she agreed to pay back the stolen money.
“He also believed that she had stolen from his business in order to pay the restitution on the other case,” prosecutors wrote in court records.
In the homeowners’ association case, Sturtz made out checks to herself drawn on the association’s account when she served as treasurer, court records show.
“When asked why she took the money, the defendant said she had been overwhelmed and also stated she used the money to gamble at local casinos,” prosecutors wrote in court records related to the homeowners’ association case.Adam Lynn: 253-59708644 adam.lynn@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/crime @TNTadam