A 44-year-old woman is facing fraud charges after police say she stole money from her employer, some of which she allegedly spent at Staples and some she used to get a higher salary.
Rhonda Baker of suburban Boynton Beach was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Thursday. She was released Friday on $15,000 bond.
The investigation into Baker started in February 2012 when the owner of Ellison Graphics Corp., on Indiantown Road in Jupiter, died and his son, Robert Herlin Jr., took over.
After the business soon closed, the company kept Baker on board to help facilitate the final dissolution of the business.
Herlin began questioning her regarding the company’s PNC Bank account info. In August, he went to the PNC bank branch and was notified that the main address linked to the account was changed to Baker’s home address.
Herlin reviewed the company’s bank account statements and found automated payments were made online to Staples, with a balance of $6,500. The fraud department with Staples told Herlin that the account’s user-name was “rkbaker9852” and the account had Baker’s former Jupiter address listed, according to a Jupiter police probable cause affidavit.
While continuing to investigate, Herlin found that 420 gift cards had been bought through the account, which totaled $45,611.91 from January 2010 through October 2012.
Herlin also discovered some unauthorized checks written from the business account. The checks were allegedly written and cashed by Baker.
About 40 checks were found to be made out to Perry Services, which is a business that Ellison Graphics previously had done business with. Herlin searched records and found that Baker was listed as a registered agent of Perry Services.
Jupiter police spoke with Baker in December when she allegedly admitted to using the Staples account for her personal use when her mother became ill in 2010. She said she gave the gift cards to her mother and repaid the company with the money about 70 percent of the time.
Regarding the unauthorized checks, Baker said she used the checks to make her salary “higher than it really was” while she was trying to get a mortgage.