CHICAGO | A 36-year-old Dyer woman was accused Wednesday of stealing about $752,000 from her former employer.
Michelle Dawson, of the 8700 block of Sheffield Drive, was charged Wednesday in Cook County court with felony theft exceeding $500,000, according to a news release from Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Dawson worked as a bookkeeper and payroll clerk for Graff Valve and Fittings Co. in Calumet Park, Ill., from 2007 to 2010, according to a probable cause affidavit. During that time, she had access to all the company’s computer systems, company checks, credit cards and bank accounts.
In December 2010, Dawson went on maternity leave and her replacement subsequently found discrepancies in the business’s accounting records because of missing checks, the affidavit states.
A review of the company’s records found Dawson had written herself unauthorized “double and triple” payroll checks for services that were not performed or rendered and deposited those checks into her personal account, the affidavit states.
Dawson is accused of transfering that money to other accounts in her name via wire and mail. She also is suspected of misusing the company’s credit card for personal expenses.
In a signed written statement with prosecutors, Dawson admitted to issuing herself more than $533,000 in unauthorized checks and more than $119,000 in unauthorized payroll checks, the affidavit states. She has already paid back $230,000.
Dawson turned herself in to the Calumet Park Police Department on Tuesday and appeared Wednesday at the Markham Courthouse, where she posted a $100,000 I-Bond to secure her release. Her next court date is Aug. 6 in Markham.