Natrona County Woman Accused of Stealing Nearly $300,000 From Employer Pleads Guilty
A woman accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from her employer over the course of some 15 years pleaded guilty to six felony charges Friday morning in Natrona County District Court.
Gloria Taylor admitted to four counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of felony theft. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 60 years in prison and $60,000 in fines.
In exchange for Taylor's guilty pleas, the state agreed to drop eight additional charges and recommend Taylor spend no more than three to 10 years behind bars, with any terms of imprisonment running concurrently.
Taylor also agreed to pay restitution on the six counts to which she pleaded guilty. The totality of the allegations, including charges which were dismissed, claim Taylor spent $295,063.20 of company money without permission since 1999.
Court documents say on Oct. 13, 2014, the owner and general manager of Rocky Mountain Brake Supply spoke with a Natrona County Sheriff's Sergeant and alleged Taylor, who had recently been fired, made personal purchases and donations using company money.
Some of those purchases included Taylor buying two antique cars with a check written on a business account. After learning of those purchases, the general manager found several thousand dollars' worth of purchases made by Taylor without permission.
Taylor had worked for the company for 30 years before being fired earlier that month. She worked as the secretary or treasurer for the business, and was responsible for paying bills, writing checks and tracking finances. That put her in a unique position to take advantage of the company, the affidavit says.
A review of Taylor's bank accounts revealed few check and debit transactions over a two-year period, as well as a lack of everyday personal purchases. The investigation showed Taylor had opened a Walmart credit card on the company's behalf, but without permission.
Over eight years, Taylor spent $130,927.62 at Walmart and paid the balances using checks from Rocky Mountain Brake Supply.
Taylor served on the board of several wildlife foundations including the Wyoming Mule Deer Foundation and tried to "act like an important person" by spending and donating company money. Over seven years, she allegedly spent $17,830.11 with the foundation.
The company had given her permission to make banquet table purchases with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, but Taylor's spending went far beyond banquets.
She allegedly spent $25,728.36 of company money with the Wyoming Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, $24,927 with the National Wild Turkey Federation,$3,330 with the Wyoming Chapter of the Foundation of North American Wild Sheep, $5,450 with the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation and $2,350 with North Platte Walleyes Unlimited.
Court documents say Taylor used company money to buy art in 2013 and 2014. She then would donate that art to various wildlife groups. In those two years, she spent $12,762.75 on artwork.
Records from Sam's Club dating back to 2009 showed Taylor made personal purchases with money belonging to Rocky Mountain Brake Supply, to the tune of $41,268.46 over five years.
Taylor also allegedly received cash for the company's scrap metal. Previously, Wyoming Steel and Recycling would empty the business's scrap metal bin once or twice a month and issue a check or cash to the business.
In the year before she was fired, Taylor allegedly asked the payments be made in cash, and she picked them up on Saturdays without permission. Over five and a half months, those payments totaled $11,759.80.
Court documents say Taylor also spent over $8,000 of company funds on tools for her own use.
An investigator interviewed Taylor on Aug. 25, 2015. When confronted with the total amount of money she allegedly spent, Taylor reportedly seemed shocked. She admitted to a number of the purchases made without the owner's permission.
Taylor reportedly said she made the purchases for personal benefit, but had not intended to hurt the company.