Ex-bookkeeper arrested in $5.7M embezzlement case - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ex-bookkeeper arrested in $5.7M embezzlement case

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Riverside County woman who allegedly fled the state after embezzling $5.74 million from the San Marcos clothing wholesaler where she worked as a bookkeeper was captured Friday in New Mexico.

An Albuquerque police detective arrested Elizabeth Ann Masters, 44, shortly before 1:30 p.m., San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Mark Varnau said.

Masters' employers at the offices of PROformance Apparel on Norman Strasse Road fired her in December after determining through an audit that she allegedly had forged more than 700 company payroll checks and deposited them into her personal bank accounts, according to Varnau.

Masters, an Anza resident who had worked as a controller for the firm for nine years, allegedly used much of the stolen money to buy a horse ranch in Aguanga.

After her employers discovered the losses and reported the suspected embezzlement, Masters sold off animals and equipment from the equestrian facility and was able to repay them about $500,000, the sergeant said.

Sheriff's detectives were in the process of gathering information in the case when the suspect disappeared in March, according to Varnau. Investigators eventually were able to track her down in New Mexico and obtained a warrant for her arrest last Friday.

Masters was expected to be extradited back to San Diego County within the next 10 days.

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