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MailTribune.com
  • Couple charged in alleged embezzlement

    Former Western Lumber Co. bookkeeper jailed in theft of $175,000; her boyfriend was charged with receiving stolen funds
  • A former lumber company bookkeeper and her boyfriend face multiple theft charges in the suspected embezzlement of $175,000.
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  • A former lumber company bookkeeper and her boyfriend face multiple theft charges in the suspected embezzlement of $175,000.
    Amanda Ann Shannon, 34, of the 800 block of Westrop Drive, Central Point, was arrested Tuesday on seven counts of aggravated first-degree theft and one count of first-degree theft. She was lodged in the Jackson County Jail, where she remained Wednesday on $75,000 bail.
    On Monday, Kevin Chestnut, 35, of the same address as Shannon, met with investigators and was charged with three counts of first-degree theft and five counts of aggravated first-degree theft for allegedly accepting embezzled funds, a Medford police news release said. He was cited and released.
    Police said the couple had cooperated with the investigation, which was launched in January, and turned themselves in this week.
    An employee of Western Lumber Co. contacted police on Jan. 23 after noticing unusual fund transfers that were suspected of being embezzlement by a past employee.
    Shannon worked for Western Lumber Co. as a bookkeeper from May 2010 to November 2012, when she was terminated for reasons unrelated to the suspected embezzlement, police said.
    The Medford Police Financial Investigation Section investigated and determined that Shannon was depositing money from the business into her personal credit card account and her boyfriend's credit card account.
    "It was initially covered up very superficially, but once that was uncovered it was obvious where that money was going," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "It was a Discover card being mislabeled by Shannon. This business doesn't use Discover cards, so that was a red flag."
    Finding that a former employee has been embezzling funds for years is not uncommon for businesses, he said.
    "There should always be checks and balances to make sure you're not losing money," Budreau said. "So many people just rely on the bookkeeper to be truthful and will sign documents and checks based on what the bookkeeper says they are for."
    Under state law, any theft over $10,000 carries an enhanced criminal penalty and is considered aggravated theft.
    Reach reporter Mandy Valencia at 541-776-4486 or avalencia@mailtribune.com
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