A woman is accused of embezzling nearly $115,000 from her Eau Claire employer over a five-year period.
Sarah S. Girard, 38, 515 Bergen Ave., was charged Tuesday in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of theft from a business setting.
Girard is free on a $1,000 signature bond, which prohibits her from having contact with Don’s Sheet Metal, 306 Elm St.
Girard returns to court Feb. 26.
According to the criminal complaint:
The owner of Don’s Sheet Metal told police in February 2019 that Girard was his former office manager from 2013 until she quit on Dec. 31, 2018.
The owner said Girard also handled the accounts for White Fence Co.
The owner said he hired a bookkeeping company after Girard left to review the business’ books.
The bookkeeping company advised him that a lot of money was going out to Girard in the form of checks.
The owner said he confronted Girard, who said she was trying to get out of her marriage and wanted to show she had more income than she actually had. She offered to pay back the money.
The owner said he wanted to give Girard a chance to pay back the money in six months before pressing charges.
In October, the owner told police Girard had paid back $19,000, but stopped making payments in September.
Girard told the owner her assets were frozen until her divorce was finalized and her ex-husband would pay the remaining debt.
The owner told police he did not believe Girard intended to make any more payments.
Girard admitted that she “used” the Don’s Sheet Metal account.
Police reviewed texts Girard had sent to the owner.
“I should have never done anything with the account. I can only try to make things better, if allowed. I only have an additional $10,000,” she said.
“I can give that to you to at least show good faith,” Girard said. “I can do monthly payments or refinancing for a lump sum.”
After a review of the books for Don’s Sheet Metal, it was determined Girard took $114,397 from the company.
If convicted, Girard could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.