According to sheriff’s reports, Ruth C. Amen, 46, was charged with stealing more than $180,000 from her employer, Gulf-to-Bay Sotheby’s International Realty of Boca Grande.
Reports state that the sheriff’s office was notified of the thefts in August of 2012 by the owners of the real estate company. The owners of the company said that Amen, who was their office manager for more than 10 years, had been responsible for the business’ payroll, billing and account payments.
It wasn’t until Amen decided to have a surprise birthday party for one of the owners that they became suspicious of certain account activity that had been taking place, and investigated further. An audit was conducted by a Sarasota accounting firm and, based on findings by that firm, the owners of the business confirmed that fraudulent activity had transpired.
Reports show that the accounting analysis revealed that Amen would “frequently pay several personal credit cards using Gulf to Bay Sotheby’s business account, fail to deduct from her pay the cost of insurance benefits, and would write herself extra paychecks that went above what she should have received.”
The sheriff’s report indicates that, in total, Amen allegedly stole $181,674 from her employer by paying her personal credit cards in the amount of $91,987, paying herself extra paychecks in the amount of $65,224 and failing to deduct the cost of her insurance, in the amount of $24,462.
The first fraudulent payments allegedly appeared in January of 2006, with the last being in mid-2012.
Amen was released on bail from custody at the Lee County Correctional Facility on March 26, with a scheduled hearing date of April 1. Her bond had been set at $100,000 for the larceny charge, and $50,000 for the fraud charge.
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