A Nicholasville woman who was reported missing last week was arrested Tuesday, accused of taking more than $124,000 from her employer.
Lexington police have charged Brenda Suiter, 53, with one count of theft by deception of more than $10,000 and three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, according to records filed in Fayette District Court. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf Wednesday afternoon and her next court date is scheduled for Sept. 20.
Suiter was reported missing to the Jessamine County Sheriff's Office on Aug. 30, the same day that her employer filed a theft report with Lexington police.
Marshall Jones of Commonwealth Inspection Bureau filed the report after learning that the business account had been depleted, according to an arrest warrant.
Jones had tried to negotiate a check but then learned that there was not enough money in the account to cover the check, the warrant says. Jones had asked Suiter, his bookkeeper, to look into the possible error.
When he arrived at work, Jones learned that Suiter "had locked the doors and left her keys on the desk and was no longer able to be reached," the warrant says.
Jones met with a representative of Central Bank, who provided copies of business checks dating back to Jan. 2, 2013. Jones found 59 checks totaling $124,443 that had been falsely completed by someone other than himself. Someone also had forged his signature on the checks, the warrant says.
It was determined that about Jan. 18, three forged checks totaling $5,000 were made payable to Brenda Suiter. The remaining checks were made payable to Wind Ridge Farm Collectibles, a business owned by Suiter, the warrant says.
Suiter would cash the checks through Central Bank, using the business account for Wind Ridge Farm Collectibles, the warrant says.
An Internet search of Wind Ridge Farm Collectibles showed Suiter as the owner and showed a business address that was her home in Nicholasville, the warrant says.
A security officer for Central Bank provided Lexington police with images from video of some transactions that allowed an investigator to identify Suiter as the person cashing the checks.
Suiter was released Tuesday from the Fayette County jail after someone posted her bail.