Woman Accused of Embezzlement Has Previous Record

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

Employees at Vision Care never suspected the woman who worked in accounts payable was writing checks to herself and forging signatures. But they discovered Rebecca Chapman had been doing just that when they reviewed their finances after she stopped working there.

Employees alleged Chapman took $40,000 from the eye care and eyewear store. They noticed the missing money after Chapman started working as an office manager at Tobacco Free Michigan, a group that is currently accusing Chapman of stealing at least $50,000 from it's organization.

Ultimately, Chapman pled guilty to one count of forgery, and a judge required her to repay $16,600 to Vision Care. Employees at Vision Care say she has been paying small, regular payments to them, but she still owes the company $14,000.

A judge also sentenced Chapman to 60 months of probation, which included directions that stated, "Defendant may not work in any job with access to employer's funds."

However, Chapman continued her financial responsibilities as the office manager at Tobacco Free Michigan, and representatives at Tobacco Free Michigan say they never knew she had been convicted of forgery.

Representatives from Michigan's Department of Corrections say they're conducting an internal investigation as to why Chapman was able to continue working with money despite her probation sentence.

They say it's the probation officer's responsibility to enforce probation guidelines, but they say it's possible the probation officer wasn't aware of Chapman's financial capacity at Tobacco Free Michigan.

Chapman's attorney, James Bliss, says she did fill out a questionnaire, which included details about her employment, for probation purposes.

Bliss maintains that Chapman is not guilty of the current embezzlement charges against her. He says her criminal past does not indicate she's guilty now.


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