Woman charged with embezzling $200,000-plus from Johnson City business

Becky Campbell • May 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM

A local business is out around $221,000 after the bookkeeper wrote checks to herself from the business’s bank account, according to Johnson City police.

Penny Freeman, 48, 110 Dayton Hayes Circle, Elizabethton, was arrested Thursday after police served her with a grand jury presentment indicting her on a charge of theft over $60,000.

According to police Sgt. Kevin Peters, Freeman worked at Baird Machine Co., 401 N. Broadway St., between 2009 and 2010 when the money was funneled from the business to her personal account.

Freeman is accused of writing checks to herself, then removing those cashed checks from the company’s bank statement when it arrived in the mail.

Company owner Thomas Baird reported the theft in May 2011 when he discovered the money was missing. He told police he confronted Freeman about the money and she admitted taking it.

He also reported Freeman promised to pay him back, but had not made any payments at the time of his report.

Freeman was taken to the Washington County Detention Center, where she was being held on a $25,000 bond. She will be arraigned in Criminal Court later this month.

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