MARATHON, Fla. – A Florida Keys woman was arrested Monday, accused of stealing more than $80,000 from her employer.
Michelle Ludwig, 34, of Marathon, is accused of writing checks to herself over and above her normal paychecks and using the scanned electronic signature of the owner to sign the checks.
Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Ludwig, who was a front office manager for Marathon Garbage Service, cashed 69 checks totaling $83,443.65 on a weekly basis since February.
The company's accountant told a sheriff's detective that she had been asking Ludwig for company records for two months and finally received them July 17. After reviewing the records, the accountant noticed discrepancies and confronted Ludwig about them.
Ludwig admitted to stealing the money, telling the accountant that she had a drug addiction and was using the company's money to finance her habit, Herrin said.
A remorseful Ludwig confessed to the family company's president, telling him that she had been forging his father's signature on the checks and that she wanted to repay the money, Herrin said.
Ronald Konrath and his family weren't so forgiving. They notified deputies and said they wanted to press charges.
Ludwig surrendered Monday after an arrest warrant was issued. Ludwig faces 69 felony counts each of grand theft, forgery and fraud. Her bond was set at $207,000.