A Montgomery woman is facing charges after being accused of stealing more than $245,000 from her employer.
Paula Marie Mills, 39, of Montgomery, has been charged with 11 counts of embezzlement between 2015 and 2020. The charges include three felony counts for embezzlement of more than $35,000, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine, four counts of felony embezzlement of more than $5,000, with a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine, three counts of felony embezzlement between $1,000 and $5,000, carrying a max sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine, and a gross misdemeanor for embezzlement between $500 and $1,000.
Mills is accused of amounts ranging from between $572 and $58,229 from her employer, Anderson Engineering Operations, through additional payroll paid to herself, personal charges on company credit cards, PayPal transactions and through bank accounts over various time periods within the past five years.
Police say that Anderson Engineering discovered various discrepancies in their financial records and held Mills responsible after an internal investigation. Mills reportedly resigned from the company after the investigation and admitted to the embezzlement. Results of the investigation were forwarded to the police, who obtained warrants to search three accounts related to Mills’ personal bank account.
According to the complaint, in a taped interview, Mills said that she worked her way up to become financial manager of the company and was responsible for accounts receivable and payable. She reportedly admitted that she used the company credit card for various purchases, including a lawn mower and a down payment for a cruise. She reported admitted to embezzling money through PayPal paying herself additional pay, beyond and above what she should have.
She reportedly said that she had intended on taking the money to cover her accounts and then pay it back, but it got worse each year.
Mills has an omnibus hearing scheduled in Le Sueur County District Court for Feb. 2, 2021.