A York woman will serving a 3-month sentence after she pleaded guilty to stealing $177,000 from her employer.
Sandra Hewett, 58, of 3439 Black Highway pleaded guilty last week to two counts of grand larceny and two counts of forgery after false payroll checks were deposited into accounts she set up, according to York County Assistant Solicitor E.B. Springs.
Hewett worked in the human resources department for Lexington Medical in Rock Hill. She logged the false hours under the names of "ghost employees" who did not work there and had the money direct-deposited into "dummy" accounts, Springs said.
"This went on for over a year-and-a-half until eventually she had scammed the payroll computer to the tune of $177,000," he said.
The company's general manager complained to police in February 2010. According to a Rock Hill Police report, Hewett told the manager she took the money because she had bills to pay.
In court, it came out that Hewett's family income faced losses because of a family member being unable to work, Springs said.
Last week, Hewett was sentenced to serve 3 months at the York County prison farm, 5 years' probation, and 10 years' suspension. She also must work on paying more than $177,000 in restitution.
Each count of larceny and forgery carries a possible 10-year sentence, Springs said. In exchange for signing over the mortgage of her home to the victim - which gives the company another option for recouping its losses - Hewett was permitted to enter a plea agreement for reduced charges and penalties.
Hewett had no prior criminal history, Springs said.
Attempts to reach Lexington Medical and Hewett's attorney on Friday were unsuccessful.