Woman accused of stealing $240K from local construction company
IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls woman is accused of stealing over $240,000 over several months from her employer.
Sarah Elizabeth Kjar, 23, is charged with two felony counts of grand theft and two felony counts of forgery. If convicted on all counts, Kjar could spend up to 68 years in prison.
According to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, the owner of local home builder Castlerock Homes contacted the Idaho Falls Police Department on Oct. 14, claiming Kjar, an accountant for the company, used the businesses credit card for expenses that were not work-related.
Castlerock Homes hired Kjar in June 2017, and she worked there until being fired in October 2018.
“He (the owner) suspected her (Kjar) of stealing money from him when he started to receive calls from his vendors asking when they were going to get paid,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.
An outside forensic audit found Kjar allegedly completed $96,645 in fraudulent credit card transactions. The audit revealed $131,377 spread out through 29 checks were also written out to Kjar or her husband and deposited into a Wells Fargo account. The checks allegedly had forged signatures of the owner or stamps of the company, according to court documents.
The owner of Castlerock Homes said he confronted Kjar about the fraudulent activity on the company accounts. He claims Kjar called herself a “trust fund baby” and said she would pay him back for what she spent.
The fraudulent checks were created in the company’s QuickBooks and within minutes either voided, deleted or changed. The checks were supposed to go to the vendors but were written out to Kjar or her husband, according to court documents.
Police investigated Kjar’s husband who denied any knowledge of the thefts and fraudulent activity. Court documents show the two divorced in November 2018, one month after Kjar was fired for the suspected fraud.
After months of investigation, detectives contacted Kjar in January to speak about the alleged thefts and fraudulent activity. She agreed to talk with her attorney, Curtis Smith, present on Feb. 22, but no one showed up to the meeting. Smith later contacted police saying his client changed her mind about speaking with detectives.
Kjar was arrested on April 16 and transported to the Bonneville County Jail. On April 17, she posted a $150,000 bond and was released before her arraignment later that afternoon. She is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on May 1 before Magistrate Judge Steven W. Boyce.