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Forsyth woman charged with taking $540K from ex-employer
1119EMBEZZLE michaelslinda
Linda Marie Michaels

In what investigators are describing as a large white collar crime, a Forsyth County woman was charged Thursday afternoon with embezzling about $540,000 from her former employer.

Linda Marie Michaels, 45, turned herself in at the Forsyth County Detention Center, authorities said.

Michaels, who faces one count of theft by taking, was released hours later after posting $5,610 bond, a jail spokeswoman said.

Forsyth County Sheriff's Maj. Dan Jagoe said the arrest was the result of a monthslong investigation.

Jagoe said the owner of Pro Air Systems in northeastern Forsyth and his accountant notified authorities at the end of August that they suspected Michaels of stealing from the business.

"Her primary responsibility was payroll and billing," Jagoe said. "Over an extended period of time, she has signed company checks to herself, but put it in their books as going to vendors.

"Then she would go and either cash those checks or deposit them into her account."

Jagoe said Michaels, who was the business manager and had worked for the company since 2001, was fired after the owner made the discovery.

She reportedly wrote about 330 checks to herself in the past six years.

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