LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 21-year-old Lufkin woman accepted a plea bargain deal of four years of probation for stealing almost $18,000 from her employer over a period of seven months.
Erica Kay McGauhey appeared in Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District Court Tuesday for a plea bargain hearing. As part of the deal, she pleaded guilty to a state-jail felony theft charge.
McGauhey will also have to pay back all of the $17,796.05 she stole from Career Uniforms along with an extra $500 fine and a $50 donation to Crimestoppers. She will also have to serve 50 hours of community service.
According to District Attorney Art Bauereiss, if McGaughey cannot pay the money back in four years, he probation will be extended.
"She needs the time to make the massive restitution amount that's owed, so if it needs to be extended in order for her to accomplish that goal, that can be done," Bauereiss said.
The investigation began on Aug. 4, 2014 when the owner of Career Uniforms, located in the 1800 block of West Frank Street, contacted police and said an employee had stolen $17,796.05 between Jan. 10 and July 30.
The owner told police his bookkeeper noticed some discrepancies and contacted him. After checking records and reviewing video, he was able to determine McGaughey appeared to be taking cash transactions, then deleting sales receipts and invoices on them.
McGaughey would place the cash received through sales into the proper envelope and place it in the proper drawer. Then, the owner said at the end of the day, she could be seen taking the envelope containing the cash to a back room where there is no surveillance, then bringing the empty envelope back.
The owner said he found 240 deleted cash transactions from those seven months which could not be explained and totaling that amount.
A detective interviewed McGaughey, who admitted to taking the money to pay bills, according to the report. She did not know how much was taken.
McGaughey told Judge White she planned on getting a job to pay her restitution.