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Bookkeeper accused of stealing more than $880K to support gambling habit

FOX 4 Staff

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Bookkeeper accused of stealing more than $880K to support gambling habit

CREATED Mar. 12, 2013

IMMOKALEE, Fla. - A trusted bookkeeper with a major Southwest Florida agriculture company has been arrested for stealing more than $800,000 dollars to support a gambling habit.

50-year-old Mary Montes of Immokalee became the subject of a major investigation after her employers, Troyer Brothers, contacted the Lee County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit.

Montes was arrested on Saturday by Collier County deputies and taken to the Collier County Jail.

The investigation shows that Montes Montes systematically took vendor checks issued to the company and deposited them into her own personal and business accounts.  Montes would also issue checks to former employees of the company and then sign them over to herself for deposit. 

In all, Montes stole $812,620 from Troyer Brothers in a period of one year.  Investigators say Montes used most of the stolen money to fund an ever growing gambling habit. Montes had worked at Troyer Brothers for 23 years.

Montes is charged with first degree felony theft and scheme to defraud.  She is currently being held with no bond in the Collier County Jail and is awaiting extradition to Lee County.