Bookkeeper at local lawn care company arrested for forging $1,000 check

Bookkeeper in Tallahassee arrested for forging $1,000 check
Posted at 1:35 PM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 09:40:49-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee woman is facing felony charges after investigators say she fraudulently wrote herself a $1,000 company check.

Deirdre Ann Wells, 34, was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Leon County Detention Center on a $7,000 bond.

Wells was the bookkeeper for Ground Forces Tallahassee when she issued herself a $1,000 company check without the authorization of the owner, according to a probable cause affidavit.

On March 22, the lawn care owner told a Leon County Sheriff's Office investigator that Wells had written the unauthorized check, and later that day the investigator contacted Wells.

After waiving her right to remain silent, Wells admitted to cashing the $1,000 check but said the owner gave it to her along with her $500 paycheck, the court document said.

Comparing the signatures of the owner and Wells, the investigator concluded that Wells had written the owner's signature on the $1,000 check.

The investigator contacted Regions Bank and learned that both checks were deposited in a Sunshine Community Bank account.

Regions refunded the money that Ground Forces Tallahassee lost because of the fraudulent $1,000 check, making Regions the victim of the theft charge, the court document said.

Security video from Sunshine Community Bank captured the deposit of the two checks being made by a man the investigator determined to be Wells' husband.

Documents say he admitted in an interview that he deposited both checks after his wife asked him to do so. He said he did not believe his wife would forge a check or steal from the company.

"[He] explained that Deirdre works extremely hard for the company, and she is not always recognized for her hard work," the court document said. "He further stated that Ground Forces had been late in paying Deidre several times."

In a Sept. 13, interview, Deirdre Wells told the investigator again that the lawn care company's owner gave her the $1,000 check for payment for her work. She denied writing her name or filling out the check.

Wells is charged with grand theft of $300 or more but less than $5,000, passing a forged or altered instrument, and depositing a bank item with the intent to defraud.

She remained in jail Wednesday.