DECATUR — Police said a Decatur woman faces charges of stealing more than $484,000 from her employer and spending the money on everything from house payments to credit card bills and online shopping.
Decatur police arrested Natalie E. Stout, 37, on Saturday and booked her on a preliminary charge of theft; preliminary charges are subject to review by the Macon County State's Attorney's Office.
An attorney for Stout was not listed in court documents.
A sworn affidavit from police officer Jason Derbort said Stout helped herself to the cash in a long run that stretched from 2013 to December 2016, when her employers at Decatur firm JD Properties became suspicious and fired her.
Derbort said Stout's duties included handling rent collections for the rental property company and taking in cash and check rent payments.
A JD Properties spokeswoman declined to comment on the case when contacted Monday by the Herald & Review.
Derbort said Stout's bank records had been obtained through a grand jury subpoena. The records showed large amounts of cash being deposited into her account through the years, while her legitimate annual salary from JD Properties varied between $18,522 in 2014 and $17,910 in 2016.
“An audit of the accounting documents and bank records of JD Properties was completed by Sikich LLP which determined approximately $484,877 was missing,” Derbort said in the affidavit.
Police said an analysis of Stout's bank records showed her spending on everything from house and vehicle payments to credit card bills. And, between 2013 and 2016, Stout lavished more than $79,000 alone on predominantly online shopping purchases.
Stout is free after posting a $20,000 bond. A condition of her bail is that she stays away from JD Properties. She is due to be arraigned Sept. 22.