Affidavit: Former employee of Lufkin business stole $55.5K from company

Affidavit: Former employee of Lufkin business stole $55.5K from company

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Special agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety's Criminal Investigations Division arrested a 31-year-old Lufkin woman Tuesday in connection to allegations that she stole a total $55,522.93 from Forestry Supply Services Inc. while she worked as the company's office manager/bookkeeper.

Kara Nicole Lumbley was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a felony theft between $30,000 and $150,000 charge. She was released from the jail later Tuesday after she posted an unspecified bail amount.

According to the arrest affidavit, Lumbley worked for Forestry Supply Services Inc., which is located at 3853 U.S. Highway 69. The thefts occurred over a period of time from March 29, 2013, to Sept. 8, 2017.

The DPS special agent who obtained the affidavit wrote that the owner of the company told him that they suspected Lumbley had stolen a large amount of money while she had been working there.

Because Lumbley handled the company's payroll management and the payment of its bills, she had access to Forestry Supply Services' First Bank and Trust account, the affidavit stated.

Michael Dennis Whitworth, the company's owner, told the DPs special agent that Lumbley had drafted unapproved funds into her private bank account without recording the unauthorized draft in Forestry Supply Services' internal records.

Further investigation revealed that the first unauthorized draft occurred on March 29, 2013, the affidavit stated. Lumbley allegedly accessed the First Bank and Trust account and authorized a draft of $1,000 to her personal account. According to the affidavit, the draft did not occur on a payday, and it wasn't recorded in the company's internal records.

The DPS special agent found a number of similar unauthorized drafts. At one point, she requested an advance of $2,500 in addition to her normal paycheck of $902.38. After she got approval for the advance, she accessed First State Bank account an authorized a payment to her personal account in the amount of $3,903.38, and the company's records don't show the extra $500.

The largest unauthorized payment to Lumbley's personal account came on Aug. 12. 2016, when she created and authorized a draft for $4,000, the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, Lumbley would either falsify the company's records to hide the thefts or simply not record the drafts.

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