A federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo., has indicted the former controller of a Ford dealership on wire fraud charges, alleging that she embezzled more than $88,000 through unauthorized check payments and theft.
The indictment alleges that Kathryn Stayton carried out "a scheme and artifice to defraud" from September 2009 to 2011 while she managed the accounting department at Frank Fletcher Ford in Joplin, Mo.
The indictment alleges that Stayton had access to the dealership's blank checks and that she was an approved signer of checks. Dealership policy requires two signatures on checks.
She wrote 131 checks -- several for $1,000 or more -- to herself or relatives, forged the second required signature and then deposited the money in her own bank accounts.
The U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement that Stayton also took cash payments that had been made to Fletcher Ford and disguised the thefts through fraudulent journal entries in Fletcher Ford's accounting records.