Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 13, 2013

Garfield woman charged with embezzlement


TRAVERSE CITY — A Garfield Township woman who got clever with her debit card stole nearly $4,500 from Home Depot, deputies said.

Corina Kay Fessler, 21, is charged with embezzlement of between $1,000 and $20,000 by an agent or a trustee. She has been arraigned and is free on bond.

Fessler, who worked at Home Depot off South Airport Road in Garfield Township for about two and half years, took the money between November and early February, deputies said.

Fessler would either credit refunds from customers to her own debit card, or refund money to her own debit card for items she purchased but didn't return.

The thefts occurred over 18 separate fraudulent transactions, a police report said. A fraud alert program in Home Depot's computer system eventually alerted loss prevention workers, who contacted police.

A deputy interviewed Fessler about the thefts. She admitted to stealing, but insisted the stolen amount was closer to $2,000. When asked why she did it, she said she recently moved out of her parents' house into an apartment with her boyfriend and needed to the money to help her get "financially set."

Financial transactions, especially those at major retail outlets, are closely recorded. It's very difficult to steal in such a fashion and get away with it forever, sheriff's Capt. Dave Meachum said.

"Most of the time, you're going to get caught," he said. "If there's one thing business managers watch, it's their money."

Fessler declined comment. Representatives from Home Depot also declined comment.