Employee Sentenced For Embezzlement

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Karen Schrank, 36, Payson, pleaded guilty to a theft charge for embezzling more than $35,000 from a local dentist's office and between $250 and $1,000 from the Payson Youth Football League.

Schrank entered into a plea agreement and was sentenced on June 28 to a term of 130 days in jail and five years probation. The agreement stipulates that she must repay her former employer the money she took over a period of four years while employed as the officer manager and pay restitution to the football league in the amount of $595.

According to Deputy Gila County Attorney Patti Wortman, Schrank was originally indicted by a grand jury in January on two counts of theft and one count of fraudulent schemes. Schrank was offered the plea agreement with the sole charge of theft.

"We requested 130 days in jail with 30 up front with the rest deferred and five years probation and restitution," she said.

According to police documents, Sharon Mattern, owner of Desert Dentistry, noticed a discrepancy between her profit and deposit amounts. A detailed audit revealed that cash deposits were missing from the Payson office.

The audit showed that between 2000 and 2003, Schrank was pocketing up to $1,000 per month at times from the office income. The estimated total was $35,650.

Wortman said Schrank was involved in youth football, but did not know when or how she took money from the organization.

The matter was handed over to the Payson Police Department and investigated by Payson Police Det. Steve Johnson.

According to Johnson, Schrank initially denied taking the money but as the interview went on, she eventually confessed to the theft. Johnson also recalled that Schrank used the extra money to support her children and not for any luxury items.

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