A Villager has been formally charged with stealing $27,318 from her employer.
Formal charges against 55-year-old Julie Shepard of the Village of Del Mar were filed last week by the prosecutor’s office in Marion County Court. She was arrested in April on warrants charging her with multiple counts of fraud. She continued to be held this weekend at the Marion County Jail on $63,000 bond.
The New York native is being represented by the public defender’s office, which has entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf.
Shepard had been working as a bookkeeper at Perfect Deed Homes, a family-owned home construction business in Ocala, when it became clear in November that something was amiss, according to an arrest report from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
The owner of the company contacted law enforcement when Shepard did not make a routine bank drop. Shepard told her boss she “forgot” to make the bank drop and Shepard made a call to the front desk clerk, asking her to make the drop off at the bank. A senior employee intervened, as it was not common practice to have the front desk clerk make the bank drop. The company owner examined the bank pouch and discovered a forged check. The owner went into the company’s Quickbooks accounting software and the fraudulent scheme began to unravel.
Shepard had been able to cash company checks made out to herself at South State Bank and at Walmart. She reconciled the books by making it look like payments were being made to vendors, who were not actually being paid.
The total loss to the business was $27,318, the report said.