HIGHLAND, AR (KAIT) - A woman accused of embezzling more than $150,000 from her employer reportedly told investigators she knew it was wrong, but it was like a "snowball" that kept growing.
Mandy Marie Trivitt, 43, of Cherokee Village is charged with theft of property, second-degree forgery, and fraudulent use of a credit card or debit card.
The investigation began April 18 when the owner of Musick Pest Control told Sharp County sheriff's investigators Trivitt, who was his secretary, had been stealing money from his company.
Jerry Musick said Trivitt had taken $152,898 from the business since October 2014.
He explained that she had set up an account in 2012 at Liberty Bank, now Centennial Bank, in Jonesboro so two employees who worked and lived in Jonesboro would have a local bank to use for business.
By the fall of 2014, neither employee was with the company, so Musick instructed her to close the account.
In March of this year, the state revenue office told Musick he was behind on his sales tax for the past two quarters.
When he began to investigate his company's financial records, he found some discrepancies.
Musick took all of his account information to an account who discovered he still had an open account at Centennial Bank.
"There had been a considerable amount of activity on the account over the past few years," the court documents said.
Musick said he was unaware of the company's finances, adding that Trivitt took care of all the bookkeeping and expenditures.
Upon further review, Musick told detectives he learned the money had been used for personal items and charges had been made to Victoria's Secret and Vera Bradley.
Trivitt was the "only other person" with access to the account, the affidavit stated.
Musick told the officers he sent Trivitt a text on March 31, confronting her about the purchases.
In the texts, which Musick showed to investigators, "Mandy admitted to the charges and she asked Jerry not to prosecute her."
Musick fired Trivitt at that point.
A few days later, according to the court document, Trivitt's husband Josh went to Musick's house and offered to pay him $50,000 in restitution for the theft.
Musick refused to take the money, saying it was less than the total amount of the theft.
On April 18, officers met with Mandy Trivitt who agreed, after being read her Miranda rights, to an interview.
During questioning, Trivitt reportedly told them "she had been taking money from the business for a long time, without Jerry's permission."
Trivitt told the investigators she used the money to make car, phone, and boat payments. "She also admitted to purchasing clothing and many more items from online retailers," the affidavit stated.
Trivitt also reportedly admitted to forging Musick's signature on several checks and making cash withdrawals from the account.
In the court document, detectives noted that Trivitt was "very cooperative" and expressed a desire to make arrangements to repay Musick.
"Mandy stated she had received a loan for $50,000 from her father, but she did not know how she would be able to get the rest of the money," the affidavit said. "Mandy admitted that she knew what she was doing was wrong but she could not stop and the total amount of the theft was like a 'snowball' and just kept growing."
Trivitt also reportedly admitted that Musick caught her stealing about six years ago, but he allowed her to repay the money and continue working for him.
On April 24, a bench warrant was issued for Trivitt's arrest. The following day she turned herself in to the sheriff's office. A circuit judge present at the time then released her on her own recognizance, according to a sheriff's deputy.
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