Working as secretary and bookkeeper for Daryl's Precision of Payson, Brenda K. Shicky allegedly forged the owner's name to 43 checks to herself, costing the company more than $37,000.
Shicky was arrested Feb. 28 on charges of forgery, and fraudulent schemes and artifices after Daryl Kaufmann's fiancee, taking over the books, discovered the theft.
Shicky had the responsibility of paying the company's bills, but was not a signer on the bank account, according the Sgt. Tom Tieman of the Payson Police Department.
"She wrote 43 checks to herself, then signed them, forging the owner's signature, then cashed them," Tieman said.
The charge fraudulent schemes and artifices is a class 2 felony, which can result in jail time between four and 10 years. The forgery is a class 4 felony and can carry at sentence of between 18 months and three years.
Payson Police Det. Steve Johnson, who is handling the case, told Kaufmann when Shicky was asked what she thought her punishment should be, she said she thought she should have to pay back the $37,000 over time.
Kaufmann said it seems she doesn't realize the seriousness of what she has done.
Kaufmann said if Shicky was convicted and ordered to serve consecutive time for the fraud charge and each of the 43 forgeries, Shicky could conceivably spend almost 70 years in jail.
"It's pretty black and white. I have the canceled checks," Kaufmann said.
Shicky started working for Daryl's Precision, a machine shop, in early September 2001.
Kaufmann said she was trained by his former secretary for about two weeks, and the third week, after she was on her own, she started writing the checks to herself. She remained in his employ through early February 2003. About a week after she left, the problem was discovered.
In addition to having the responsibility of writing the company's checks, Shicky was also responsible for reconciling the checkbook.
"She has not said why she did it. Other businesses need to be warned that this could happen to them. They need to be careful about who they hire." Kaufmann said.
Before the terrorist attacks of 9-11, Kaufmann's company employed 17 machinists, now he only has enough work for three. The $37,000 taken from his company would have paid a fourth machinist, he said.