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Posted: March 8, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Former Bard employee to pay $34,000 in restitution

A former C.R. Bard employee was ordered to pay the company restitution of more than $34,0000 after pleading guilty to 32 counts of first degree forgery and three counts of theft by receiving.

According to Covington Police Detective D.J. Seals, the company came to him in the summer of 2007 after an audit found 11 suspicious checks.

"It is my experience that if the company has found 11 checks then there are probably more."

Seals subpoenaed bank records from Charmion Letitia Roberts, then aged 37, who had worked for the company since she was 18. After going page by page through her records, Seals reportedly located 33 checks that the company verified were bad.

Roberts was reportedly in a position where she could get checks remitted by submitting check requests to supervisors.

"She would make a check request saying that an employee needed a check because their check was the wrong check stock or they didn’t receive their paycheck. Most of the time the check would be remitted to her and she would just sign it and put it in her bank. The employee wouldn’t miss it because they received their check already."

Roberts started out small, according to Seals, and began to get a little bolder as time wore on.

"She was very good at it," he said. "No one suspected her because she had been there for so long."

In the end, authorities could prove that Roberts forged checks in the total amount of $37,516.08 over a four-year period. She had no criminal history prior to this offense, and although she had been let go by Bard at the time of her arrest and was employed by another large company, authorities had no reason to believe she had stolen from that employer.

"Cases like this can sometimes be clear as mud," said Seals. "We have to have it in a clear, concise manner so a jury can understand everything but, with this case, it never went that far. It was very clear what was going on and she never denied the charges. In cases like this, by the time I have you in my office, I probably know more about your financial life than you do."

Along with being ordered to pay Bard restitution, Roberts received 10 years probation on each of her 35 counts. She was also ordered to complete a recovery program, to disclose her probation status to any employer while on probation and not to be employed by in a fiduciary capacity while on probation.

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