Local woman charged with embezzling $260,000

Former bookkeeper allegedly stole it from three businesses

A Central Point woman who was arrested earlier this year for writing fraudulent prescriptions to obtain thousands of painkillers is back in jail after allegedly embezzling more than $260,000 from three businesses, police said.

Jodi Lynne Setzer, 42, was lodged Tuesday in the Jackson County Jail on numerous felony charges, including 10 counts of aggravated theft and five counts of first-degree theft.

Setzer's latest run-in with Medford financial detectives stemmed from her previous arrest for reportedly stealing the identity of Dr. Sandra Carmeci, who employed Setzer, to write herself prescriptions for 7,800 doses of hydrocodone.

"After we made the arrest for the illegal pills, we told the doctor's office to look into their books to see if there was any money that was missing," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "We also contacted places that she had previously worked, because we figured this wasn't the first and only time she had done something like this."

Detectives found evidence that Setzer had written fraudulent checks to herself from January 2010 through February 2012, with a total loss of $20,477 for Dr. Carmeci's office, police said.

Detectives then contacted a Rainier attorney who employed Setzer as a bookkeeper in 2001 and suggested he look into his records to see whether money had mysteriously disappeared.

The attorney told detectives he could not believe Setzer would have cooked his books, Budreau said.

"He thought there was nothing to it, but then looked into his records and found that $200,000 was missing," Budreau said. "He was shocked."

Police believe Setzer made numerous illegal money transfers to herself through the attorney's bank account. The loss was estimated at $204,000 dating back to 2007.

Detectives believe the losses may be much higher, but the six-year statute of limitations had run out on any thefts before 2007, Budreau said.

"We certainly think she had been stealing from this attorney prior to 2007, but because of the statute of limitations, we could not charge her with those crimes," Budreau said.

Detectives also contacted the Phoenix-based Noel Lesley Event Services, where Setzer had worked as a bookkeeper for a few months in 2011. In that time, police allege Setzer wrote several fraudulent checks and made unauthorized fund transfers, with a loss of $39,200.

Setzer reportedly was using the stolen money to pay off credit card debt. She also used it to purchase expensive clothes and household items, Budreau said.

"Unfortunately, most of this money is gone," Budreau said. "Even if she is convicted and ordered to pay restitution, there's not much chance these victims will see their money paid back in full."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.

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