LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Police Department arrested a 58-year-old woman Tuesday in connection to allegations that she embezzled almost $53,000 from B&B Cabinets and Trim while she was working there.
When a Lufkin PD detective spoke to the woman about the theft allegations, she told him that she stole the money to get back at the business' owners because she didn't like their management style.
Karoline Ann Jamison, of Lufkin, was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a third-degree felony theft between $30,000 and $150,000 charge Tuesday. She was released from the jail later that day after she posted an unspecified bail amount.
According to the arrest affidavit, a Lufkin PD officer met with the co-owner of B&B Cabinets and Trim on May 23 to take an employee-theft report. The co-owner told the LPD office that Jamison stole several thousand dollars from the company over a two-year period.
"I was hurt, I was mad, to say the least, I was just wowed," said Andy Brunner, co-owner of the company.
Later, the Lufkin PD detective assigned to the case met with a co-owner of B&B Cabinets and Trim. The man told the detective that Jamison was his secretary and that she was in charge of the company's books and keeping up with money owed to his employees.
The business' co-owner said Jamison had authority to write checks in the business' name, but he and the other co-owner had to sign the checks. He also told the Lufkin PD detective that he became suspicious after Jamison quit on April 6 because he asked her to let him see the business accounts.
"It get's to a point where your hands are tied," Brunner said. "I would not want another business owner to have her working there, me knowing the facts of what happened, I would not feel right. I would not be a good citizen for East Texas."
When the co-owner went through the company's ledgers, he noticed several paid transactions that weren't associated with his business, the affidavit stated. The co-owner told the Lufkin PD detective that Jamison would use Quick Books to make check payments to other vendors and then, after they signed the checks, she would change the account to pay herself instead, the affidavit stated.
Jamison allegedly tried unsuccessfully to delete several transactions from the company's Quick Books program. The co-owner gave the Lufkin PD detective copies of all the deleted check entries, along with copies of the original checks from First Bank & Trust showing the discrepancies that occurred between Jan. 8, 2016, and Oct. 21, 2106 for a total of $23,703.44.
The co-owner provided the LPD detective with more paperwork that showed Jamison embezzled a total of $52,923.98 from the company.
According to the affidavit, First Bank & Trust was only able to refund $8,267.46 of the $52,923.88 total because of time restraints. Someone from the bank's fraud department said that FB&T would be the victim in the loss of the $8,267.46.
Later, the Lufkin PD detective interviewed Jamison at the police department. During the interview, Jamison allegedly denied the validity of the checks and the paperwork at first. However, she later admitted to taking money from the owners of B&B Cabinets and Trim, but she couldn't remember how much she had taken, the affidavit stated.
"During the interview, [Jamison] stated she changed the Quick Books check ledgers and deleted the ledgers to get at the owners," the affidavit stated. "According to [Jamison], she did this because she didn't like the owners' management style and though they were abusive."
Jamison wasn't able to explain why all the checks in question were paid to the order of her, the affidavit stated. She allegedly also denied that the total amount she embezzled was $52,923.98.
Although Brunner said he learned from this, he said he'll continue to trust his employees, but with added caution.
"Make sure that things are being done right," Brunner said. "I check everything at the end of the week to make sure the all the checks are accounted for."