Rachel Richardson reports:
Marcie “Allison” Denney, 37, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of theft, a fourth-degree felony, and four fifth-degree felony counts of forgery. She originally faced one count of theft and nine counts of forgery.
Between August and November last year, Denney forged 25 company checks from her employer, JKrete, a Mason company specializing in traditional and decorative concrete installation, totaling more than $23,000.
Denney cashed company checks and wrote checks out to a friend, Christine Inman. Inman, 30, of West Chester, has been charged with one count of receiving stolen property and one count of forgery, both fifth-degree felonies.
Company owner Bruce Mills said Denney first started at a temporary worker in January and was hired on in April as an office receptionist. In that role, she handled incoming checks and outgoing bills.
Suspicions were first raised after Inman allegedly attempted to cash a company check and a cautious 5/3 Bank teller called him to verify the signature, Mills said. He froze the account and discovered other forged checks by Denney. Mason Police arrested her at work the next day.
“She’s a serious con artist,” he said. “She is very sneaky, conniving and manipulative, and she will do it again and again.”
Mills says he felt betrayed by news of the crime. The company had loaned Denney $800 to get back on her feet after she says she was kicked out of her home by a roommate, he said.
The theft also came as a large financial blow to the start-up company, which he founded two years ago and has six employees.
Mills said that he plans to keep a tighter rein on the company’s checkbook in the future.
“You have to be really careful about who you’re hiring and who you’re giving access to checks,” he said. “Who in the world would think that someone you’ve helped and are paying each week is robbing you blind?”
Denney had been released on her own recognizance, but was taken into custody earlier this month when she failed to comply with the rules of Warren County Pretrial Services, court documents show.
She faces up to 60 months in jail and a $12,500 fine when she is sentenced May 24 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.