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Woman accused of stealing $140,000 from employer to pay for private school tuition

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A woman is behind bars, accused of stealing about $140,000 from a florist shop where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Rebekah Johnson is proud of the tight-knit atmosphere in her flower design business in the Heights. When she hired Caroline Hendricks in 2011 as bookkeeper, she welcomed her as a member of the family, until the finances just weren't adding up.

"We were doing all these things to try to maximize profits and we weren't seeing any, and that's when I became suspicious," Johnson said.

Digging through the books over the Labor Day weekend, Johnson discovered the unthinkable. Her bookkeeper has allegedly been stealing from her business for years.

Hendricks, 47, now is facing a felony theft charge. Houston police say she wrote unauthorized checks for about $140,000 from her employer because she says she 'needed the money.' The alleged theft went on from July 2011 until August of this year, according to court documents.

"She would write checks to herself, she would write checks to her children's school, she would write checks to pay her car note," Johnson said.

Johnson says Hendricks even bought furniture and paid rent on a Cypress-area apartment with the flower shop's money.

Hendricks is jailed on $300,000 bail. Wile she remains behind bars, Johnson is now looking for a new bookkeeper.

"I'm going to do intensive background checks from then on," Johnson said.

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