Vermont police arrest woman for fraud, embezzlement

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SHAFTSBURY, Vt. – Vermont State Police arrested a Hoosick Falls woman for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from a local business.

The owners of Latif Plumbing and Heating, LLC reported their secretary, Lisa Taber, on April 30 of embezzling funds through checks and electronic fund transfers.

Donald Latif provided documentation of Taber using funds from the plumbing business account to pay her personal bills, including cable, power, property taxes and credit card bills. Police said Taber then logged the expenses into the business’ ledger as payments for various bills associated to the plumbing company.

An investigation into the Latifs’ claims showed Taber was hired in January 2013 to perform payroll, quarterly and federal taxes, sending invoices, and paying monthly bills.

Police said Taber issued herself an unauthorized check of $250 in February 2013. She then began issuing herself numerous checks ranging from $140 to over $540 beginning in May 2013. Taber recorded the transactions as “job materials purchased” or similar labels in the business ledger, according to police.

As a result of Taber’s actions, Latif was forced to lay-off employees, and he had to turn away work, according to police. Latif did not return a profit within the company for months.

The suspected amount of stolen funds was estimated to be around $10,000 during the investigation. The amount grew to $48,155.27 after investigating subpoenaed financial documents.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and there are additional financial documents that have been subpoenaed and are waiting to be examined.

Taber turned herself in to police May 15 and was arrested and charged with 132 counts of Embezzlement, 132 counts of False Pretenses or Tokens and 92 counts of Uttering Forged or Counterfeited Instrument. She is also not to work as a book keeper or financial assistant.

The 36-year-old is scheduled to appear for an arraignment in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division on May 19.

Taber’s husband, 40-year-old Jeremy Taber of Shaftsbury, was arrested and charged with one count of Disorderly Conduct by Telephone on Thursday for issuing threats against Latif over the telephone during the investigation.

Jeremy Taber is scheduled to appear in court on June 2.

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