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Medford woman charged with embezzling $161,000

A former bookkeeper for a Medford car lot was charged with a string of financial crimes that bankrupted her former employer and gave her free used cars and a lavish trip to Las Vegas in a rented Lamborghini.

Notja Michelle Busnardo, 47, who is also known as Notja Brower, was arrested Tuesday on felony warrants alleging that she stole $161,434 from Western Auto Sales and RV in the span of roughly 15 months, according to Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau.

Busnardo worked as a bookkeeper at the former business, located at 1492 Burlcrest Drive, from July 2018 to October 2019, according to Budreau. Police believe the thefts forced the business to close its doors.

“The loss was so significant that they weren’t able to recover and filed for bankruptcy,” Budreau said.

Police said Busnardo allegedly forged checks in the name of the business and deposited the money into her personal accounts.

Busnardo allegedly attained a credit card in the business’ name without the company’s knowledge, and racked up seven months worth of fraudulent charges in the company’s name, including a Las Vegas trip in which she rented a Lamborghini sports car, Budreau said.

Busnardo was also accused of acquiring two used vehicles from the lot in a scheme Budreau described as “acquiring the vehicle for free,” then having the company pay her “the value of the vehicle on top of that.”

Busnardo was arrested on felony warrants charging her with five counts of aggravated first-degree theft, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of first-degree forgery.

Busnardo remained jailed Tuesday on $77,500 bail.

Budreau said he’s seen numerous financial crimes involving bookkeepers over the years and encouraged local businesses to hold regular audits. Trust alone can’t prevent crimes with the potential to “literally devastate a company.”

“We always suggest some type of oversight to make sure the accounts are adding up,” Budreau said.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Notja Michelle Busnardo, 47, is accused of taking more than $161,000 from a Medford business. Medford police say the business had to close because of the financial crimes. MPD photo.