URBANA – An Urbana woman with a history of theft-related convictions has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from a former employer.
Monica Carder, 34, who listed an address in the 500 block of South Poplar Street, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of theft over $10,000, alleging that between April 2005 and December 2006 she stole money from Kevin Lawrence, doing business as Lawrence Trucking and KWL Logistics Inc. in Fisher. Assistant State's Attorney Dan Jackson said through a variety of means, Carder, who was the office manager, stole what's believed to be in excess of $76,000 from Lawrence.
Jackson said that included making excessive withdrawals for fuel payments and pocketing money in excess of the bills, writing checks to herself, using Lawrence's wife's credit card, cashing customer checks and depositing money into her own accounts, and writing checks for her personal debts.
Additionally, Jackson said, Carder made up fake invoices from attorneys for charges to the business for representing another employee when those attorneys were never hired.
Jackson said Lawrence even took out a personal loan to cover business expenses but gave it to Carder to pay off the debts, which apparently didn't happen. He then hired a local attorney to represent him in a possible bankruptcy filing and with the help of that attorney, learned of Carder's activities. They then went to the Champaign County sheriff's office, Jackson said.
The charge is a Class 2 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison.
Court records show Carder has prior convictions for deceptive practices, felony theft, financial identity theft, and theft with a prior theft conviction in Champaign County. A warrant was issued Friday.
Judge John Kennedy reduced bond to $25,000 and ordered her back in court April 10 for trial.