April 27, 2008 Cops and Courts

A Clovis woman has been charged with embezzling between $80,000 and $100,000 from a private law firm where she was employed, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Curry County Magistrate Court.

Debbie Molina, 33, was arrested April 16 and released on an $1,800 appearance bond, jail officials said.

She is charged with 78 counts, including one count of fraud; one count of forgery; one felony count of embezzlement of more than $2,500; 47 felony counts of embezzlement of more than $500; and 28 misdemeanor counts of embezzlement of more than $250.

A phone listing for Molina has been disconnected. Efforts to contact her were unsuccessful.

An investigator with the district attorney’s office was contacted by Molina’s employer, who said after their accountant discovered thousands of dollars missing, Molina admitted she took money from their firm during the 10 years she worked for them, the affidavit said.

Molina, they said, signed her 401k valued at $35,000 over to the firm to repay some of the money and they terminated her, records show.

According to the affidavit, Molina used company accounts to pay personal bills such as cell phone and utilities. She also falsified loan applications to show her income as higher and falsified welfare and low-income assistance applications to reflect less income, according to the affidavit.

The company’s owners also provided the investigator evidence that Molina used a work computer to alter her paycheck for loan and public assistance applications.