Local woman stole millions from business to gamble

Crime Watch

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Charlotte Pottorff | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS – A 65-year-old woman embezzled more than two million dollars and spent it gambling.

Charlotte Pottorff pleaded guilty to two counts of felony embezzlement, one count of perjury and one count of felony tax evasion in Bonneville County court on Sept. 11.

Pottorff began working as a bookkeeper for Val Erickson, the owner of Dura-Bilt, Dura-Bilt Transmission and A&D Investments, in 1999. According to court documents, Erickson suspects the embezzlement began when she started working for him.

According to court documents, Pottorff covered her tracks by making purchases for the company at a higher price than the items’ actual cost. She would then issue herself a check for the difference. She would issue these checks directly to herself or to bank accounts believed to be hers.

She was the only one who had control over issuing checks and balancing the business’ accounts.

According to court documents, Erickson discovered the theft after Pottorff retired from working for him.

Erickson hired Fraud Examiner Daniel Packard to conduct a forensic audit of his business accounts. According to court documents, Packard determined an approximate $2,325,504.89 was misappropriated between the years of 2006 to 2017.

Packard’s report indicated more was likely lost prior to 2008, however, bank records were not available to verify if that was the case.

According to court documents, during law enforcement’s investigation, they found charges to gambling institutions, made by Pottorff, in Idaho and Nevada.

Pottorff is scheduled to be sentenced in Bonneville County court on Oct. 25. As part of a plea bargain, the State agreed not to file any additional charges against her for the crime.

Both counts of embezzlement carry a maximum punishment of 14 years in prison with a maximum $5,000 fine plus restitution.

The charge of felony perjury requires a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 14 years. It also carries a maximum $50,000 fine plus restitution.

Tax evasion carries a maximum of five years in prison and a maximum $50,000 fine plus restitution.

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