Casper Woman Sentenced For Stealing Nearly $300,000 From Employer
A Casper woman was sentenced to prison for stealing nearly $300,000 from her employer, according to the sentenced handed down by Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins on Tuesday.
Gloria Taylor, 69, will serve six two- to 10-year terms concurrently, or at the same time, Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer said after the sentencing.
Taylor also will be on parole for a long time as she tries to pay what she still owes the victim and his business.
Before the sentencing, Taylor's employer of 30 years told the court what she did during a victim impact statement.
Kenneth Baker of Rocky Mountain Brake Supply said he has 30 employees, all with insurance.
At the rate she was stealing from him, he would have run the company out of business, Baker said.
He had to borrow money to keep the company operational, and he has a long way to go, he said. "I'm still in debt as we speak."
In April, Taylor pleaded guilty to six counts: four counts of receiving stolen property one count of felony theft, and one count of obtaining goods by false pretenses, Schafer said.
In exchange for Taylor's guilty pleas, the state agreed to drop eight other charges.
At the sentencing, Schafer said each of the six counts was a separate way for her to steal an overall $295,063.20. The total may never be known because the accounting could go back in time only so far, he said.
Schafer recommended Taylor serve "a very reasonable sentence" of between three years and 10 years on each count. Taylor already has paid be nearly $70,000 of what she stole, leaving a balance of $225,000.
Her defense attorney, Curtis Cheney, asked for leniency saying she is nearly 70, has a bad leg, and contrary to Schafer's characterization of her, did not live a luxurious lifestyle.
Taylor recently qualified for Social Security, but that will stop if she is incarcerated, Cheney said.
If she is out of prison, she will be able to work and pay restitution, he said. "She is ready to make things right."
At that point, Sullins interrupted him and said the presentence investigation stated she had assumed little accountability for her actions.
The case started in October 2014 when Baker learned Taylor bought two antique cars with a check written on a business account, according to court records.
Baker told investigators she worked as the secretary or treasurer for the business, and was responsible for paying bills, writing checks and tracking finances. That put her in a unique position to take advantage of the company.
A review of Taylor's bank accounts going back seven years revealed few check and debit transactions over a two-year period, as well as a lack of everyday personal purchases. The investigation showed Taylor had opened a Walmart credit card on the company's behalf, but without permission.
Over eight years, Taylor spent $130,927.62 at Walmart and paid the balances using checks from Rocky Mountain Brake Supply.
Taylor served on the board of several wildlife foundations including the Wyoming Mule Deer Foundation and tried to "act like an important person" by spending and donating company money.
She also used company money to buy art in 2013 and 2014. She then would donate that art to various wildlife groups. In those two years, she spent $12,762.75 on artwork.
Taylor also allegedly changed the payment method for scrap metal sold to a recycling company by having the payments made in cash.
An investigator interviewed Taylor on Aug. 25, 2015. When confronted with the total amount of money she allegedly spent, Taylor reportedly seemed shocked. She admitted to a number of the purchases made without the owner's permission.
Taylor reportedly said she made the purchases for personal benefit, but had not intended to hurt the company.