When this company couldn’t help but scale back on raises and reduce headcount, there was only one place it needed to look: this employee’s closet.
Annette Yeomans, former bookkeeper for Quality Woodworks, Inc. in San Marcos, CA, was recently jailed for embezzling more than $10 million from the company.
Between 2001 and 2007, Yeomans would spend up to $25,000 on her personal credit card and then pay off the balance on Monday using the company’s funds.
After police seized Yeoman’s property, they discovered:
- 400 pairs of shoes — most of them new — worth at least $240,000
- $300,000 in designer clothing, and
- 160 designer purses, each valued at $2,000.
She’d also used the funds to convert an entire bedroom in her house into a closet, complete with a crystal chandelier and 32-inch plasma TV.
The company’s losses went unchecked for so long because the company had never hired an outside auditor to check its books and because Yeomans was the sole bookkeeper during that time. Eventually, American Express notified the company that one of its checks had been used to make payment on Yeoman’s personal account, and an investigation uncovered her long-running thefts.
Because of the embezzled cash, Quality Woodworks was forced lay off a majority of its workforce and restructure the bulk of its operations. Most of the recovered property has been sold to make up those losses, but the company has only received about $2 million from the sale of Yeoman’s home and cars.