Ex-bookkeeper accused of stealing $154,000

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A 43-year-old Kalispell woman pleaded not guilty Thursday in Flathead District Court to felony embezzlement of more than $154,000.

According to a court document, Taira Desart is alleged to have embezzled that amount from Jesco Marine and Power Sports while working as the company’s bookkeeper.

Desart had been the company’s bookkeeper for 17 years and was the only person who handled the company’s money, the document states.

One of her coworkers started noticing money missing from deposits and confronted Desart, who allegedly denied taking the money initially but then admitted embezzling the money and signed a written statement. She was then fired.

The company had a complete audit done covering the period from January 2011 through May 2011 and found a pattern of missing money totaling $12,377.32.

Desart allegedly admitted to sheriff’s deputies that she took $300 and had been taking money for longer than the period of time she was confronted about. The court document alleges she admitted taking money since 2005 but had no idea of the total amount stolen.

The previous owner later had an audit completed for January 2005 through December 2010. He also found a pattern of missing money, totaling $142,723.

If convicted, Desart faces between one year and 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $50,000 along with any restitution.

Her next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12.

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