46-year-old Felicia Perez of Sanford is accused of embezzling $162,217.57 from her brother’s business in Clayton.
The owner of Closer Look Inspections on Knollwood Place contacted Clayton Police investigators in April of 2018 after reportedly uncovering evidence of embezzlement.
Perez had served as the business’s accountant since 2011 and the owner – her brother – came to believe she was purchasing gift cards from Lowe’s Home Improvement using the owner’s business account, having the credit statements sent to her personal email, and then paying the bills from the business account, according to Clayton Police. She quit the job in 2017.
The owner hired a new accountant to replace his sister and that’s when that new employee uncovered roughly $32,000 in gift cards purchases, which included cards from Amazon, Disney, Bed Bath and Beyond, Wendy`s, Kohl`s, eBay, Build-a-Bear, Buy Buy Baby, Starbucks, Groupon, and many other brands in values that ranged from $25 to $100 per gift card. It is also believed she took a laptop worth $150.
Clayton Police Detectives then spent time researching and investigating further purchase records and allegedly found evidence that the embezzlement was actually much higher, with purchases just in Lowe’s Home Improvement since 2014 of $159,875. Personal purchases on Amazon totaled $2,342.