Body Shop Secretary Indicted For Check Scheme

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April 7, 2021—A 47-year-old woman was indicted in federal court this month for allegedly taking the proceeds of 200 checks that were meant for her employer, a collision repair shop.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Rhode Island, in an April 1 press release, says the women, a secretary at a body shop in Cranston, R.I., allegedly embezzled $580,000. She was arrested April 1 and indicted the same day, then released on her personal recognizance.

The woman, charged with mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, allegedly for two years intercepted checks meant for the shop that were provided by insurance companies to pay for customers' repairs, the release says.

"[The woman] either did not have some customers sign direct payment forms for insurance payments to be made directly to the auto body shop, or did not forward signed payment forms to insurance companies. As a result of her actions, insurance payment checks were sent directly to customers who, in turn, provided the checks to [her] as a representative of [the shop] as payment for repairs made to their vehicles," the release says.

The woman then allegedly deposited the checks into her own bank account, sometimes forging signatures, or she gave checks to family members to deposit into their own bank accounts.

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