A woman convicted of embezzling more than $48,000 from her former employer was given five years of probation and ordered to make monthly payments to the victims.
Diane Neises, 60, of Cheney, pleaded guilty in July to felony theft and computer crime, according to a news release from District Attorney Marc Bennett’s office.
She worked as an office manager from 2009 to December 2013 for the Times-Sentinel Newspapers in Cheney, according to a court document.
During her time at the paper, Neises paid bills, reconciled bank statements and processed payroll. She had access to the paper’s books and blank checks used for payroll, the document says. Bank records showed the theft occurred during the same time frame as Neises’ employment, beginning in January 2010.
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She wrote herself 168 unauthorized checks over three years.
The owners of the newspaper told District Judge Deborah Hernandez Mitchell that the thefts caused a financial strain on the paper. Their insurance, they said, only covered $25,000 of the losses. That left $23,428 in losses that were not covered.
Hernandez Mitchell ordered Neises to pay $390 a month restitution during a sentencing hearing Friday. Neises will also have to pay back the insurance company.
If Neises violates her probation, she may have to spend 30 months in prison.
Another former employee of the newspaper was also convicted in a similar embezzlement case involving more than $100,000. That person will be sentenced next month.