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Pictured: Booking photo of Elizabeth Sheldon-Masters, 44, from New Mexico.

Authorities in New Mexico have taken into custody a woman fugitive from California who is wanted for allegedly embezzling $5.74 million from a San Marcos business.

Elizabeth Sheldon-Masters, 44, was arrested in Albuquerque on Friday afternoon, June 22, and is being processed for extradition back to San Diego County.

Also known as Elizabeth Ann Masters, the woman is said to have worked as a financial controller for a clothing business for 9 years, where she wrote more than 700 checks averaging over $8,000 each and deposited these into her own personal bank accounts, according to Sheriff’s sergeant Mark Varnau.

Masters allegedly used some of the embezzled money to buy a horse ranch in Riverside County where she kept more than 100 horses, Sgt. Varnau stated.

Although Elizabeth Masters reportedly began the alleged thefts “within weeks of being hired” the embezzlement was not discovered until an audit of financial records by her employers, according to Sgt. Varnau.

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Visduh June 24, 2012 @ 12:34 p.m.

Once again, one can only marvel at how profitable some of these businesses must be. To tap $5 million out of a company (a relatively small one that I'd never heard of before) with it still standing, is astounding. And yet the owners/principals appear to have been clueless in regard to where the considerable profits were going while she shipped the excess cash out into her own accounts, if this account is correct. But there have been many other cases like this one and the alleged thefts turned out to be true. If any reader misses the point, the bookkeeper/controller/CFO should not be able to write and sign checks. Some sort of rudimentary internal control would prevent this sort of thing from ever starting.


SurfPuppy619 June 24, 2012 @ 9:04 p.m.

My thoughts exactly V-how could they not know $5 MILLION was missing.


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