After informing her employer that she embezzled $20,000 from the assisted-living facility she worked for, a Tennessee woman handed over a personal check for that amount. She also submitted her resignation.

As reported by WBIR 10 News, a little over 18 months later, the woman found herself facing a Monroe County Grand Jury indictment. The charge was for felony theft of more than $60,000.

Investigation alleges former financial controller took almost $120K

After her resignation, calculations led to an allegation that the former financial controller for the non-profit facility took almost $120,000 over four years. She purportedly was able to do so because her position required her to make cash deposits for payments to the facility while also holding the responsibility for reconciling the deposit statements.

The determination of the amount of money allegedly taken and noted in the grand jury indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office. The investigation also found that the assisted-living facility lacked three specific internal controls that could have prevented the alleged financial misappropriations from occurring.

Facility’s former controller could face a lengthy prison term

The former controller’s charge of theft in excess of $60,000 reflects a Class B felony in Tennessee. If convicted, current guidelines allow a judge to sentence a Class B felony offender to up to 30 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $25,000.

Individuals accused of white-collar crimes often consider a plea bargain. Because of the nonviolent nature of their alleged offenses, entering a guilty plea may allow for a greater chance of sentencing leniency or a reduction of the charges. A guilty plea, however, waives the defendant’s right to a jury trial and can also make appealing a conviction or sentence an unlikely prospect.

A defendant may file an appeal in response to a jury-trial conviction

A conviction obtained by a prosecutor at a jury trial does not necessarily deprive a defendant of his or her right to an appeal. Speed is of the essence, however. There is a strict time-frame in which to file a notice of appeal after a conviction.