2017-07-06 / Courts

With guilty plea, former bookkeeper agrees to repay $815,000 to Redi-Mix

TAYLOR TAYLOR A former bookkeeper has pleaded guilty to taking more than $100,000 from a county business.

Carolyn D. Taylor, 52, of 13745 S. Armstrong Lake Road, pleaded guilty Monday in 13th Judicial Circuit Court to embezzling more than $100,000 from Leelanau Redi-Mix on Maple City Road in Kasson Township.

Taylor was arrested back in March after the owners of Redi-Mix, Marilyn and Charles Flaska, filed a complaint with the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department. They told detectives that they suspected money was being taken from the company.

Taylor worked for Redi-Mix for about 10 years as bookkeeper and accountant. According to a court report, Taylor repeatedly and regularly stole funds from her employer through the use of fraudulent checks. The money was taken over a period of about six years, reports said.

Following Monday’s plea, Taylor agreed to pay restitution totaling $815,000, though numbers calculated by auditors in the case and reports from the Flaskas hint at a significantly higher total.

“I can’t go by suspicion, I can only go by proof,” said Leelanau County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Doug Donaldson. “That’s a number that I can prove.”

A civil suit filed by Leelanau Redi- Mix against Taylor and her daughters, Brooke Taylor and Jennifer Clark, has the potential to add to the total amount owed in the case, Donaldson said. The Flaskas claim in a civil suit that Taylor used company money to purchase a home in Traverse City, pay personal credit cards, fix vehicles, finance a volleyball league and add to her personal salary.

“Redi-Mix still has a lawsuit going,” he said. “They can go for more than that, but the $815,000 is the amount that was agreed upon by the lawyers on either side.”

Embezzlement is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Taylor may also have to pay more than three times the amount embezzled.

Taylor’s sentencing date is set for August 7.

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