Woman accused of embezzling more than $400,000 from local business
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IDAHO FALLS — A local woman is accused of embezzling more than $400,000 from an Idaho Falls business.
While training her replacement at Young Electric, Heating & Air, investigators say 32-year-old Tiffany Chase believed the person she was training was beginning to suspect her of embezzlement.
With the intent of taking the money and running away with her children, she wrote herself fraudulent checks of $4,000 each, according to court documents. She was arrested Jan. 22 and charged with two counts of grand theft and one count of forgery.
Chase is believed to have embezzled at least $426,788 over four years.
She told investigators she stole the money by writing herself checks from the company and using the company’s credit card without permission to make personal purchases. She altered the company’s books to show that taxes and clients had been paid when she was actually writing those checks to herself, according to documents.
Chase’s alleged crimes were discovered when she was replaced as the bookkeeper for Young Electric, Heating & Air.
The new bookkeeper found that Chase had allegedly not paid taxes since 2017. That’s around $250,000 in unpaid taxes, fees and interest.
The bookkeeper found Chase allegedly stole another $176,778 in fraudulent checks and credit card fraud.
Chase allegedly told investigators that her spending had gotten out of control before she started embezzling in 2016. She said she’d maxed out multiple credit cards to pay for her expenses.
The embezzlement allegedly started when Chase didn’t have the money to pay for her Las Vegas wedding in 2016. So she practiced the business owner’s signature and wrote herself a check.
She said she continued writing checks to herself for years. According to documents, she said she couldn’t control herself and “hated herself for it.”
Chase faces a minimum of one year and up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count of grand theft. She could serve a minimum of one year up to 14 years in prison for forgery.
She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 4.