Former employee accused of stealing money from Conway law firm, police say

Local News

CONWAY, Ark.- A woman is facing forgery and theft of property charges after Conway Police say she stole money from her former employer.

According to a Conway Police report sent Wednesday, Mary Wilkinson, 36, of Bee Branch, was arrested on Monday.

According to Conway Police, Wilkinson took $2,047 worth of checks and $3,707 in cash from the Jiles Firm.

The president of the Jiles Firm told police Wilkinson started working at the firm in January 2016 as his assistant.

The president of the firm said at the time Wilkinson began working there, the firm was Miller Jiles, with an office in Searcy and an office in Conway. The business office was in Searcy, according to the firm’s president.

According to the report, the president of the firm said if a payment was made in Conway, Wilkinson would copy the checks, complete a deposit ticket and notify the office manager in Searcy, who would credit the client’s account.

According to the report, the business became just the Conway office in January 2020 due to health issues and billing was done manually.

In February 2020, the firm began using a cloud-based program for their books, and Wilkinson was responsible for making deposits for incoming client payments with access to both the manual spreadsheet and the software, the report states.

According to the report, when the attorneys began looking over the books while closing the Searcy office, they found at least three deposits in 2019 that were unaccounted for. The report says Wilkinson had noted them as deposited, but they were unaccounted for in bank statements for the firm.

The attorneys contacted the clients to see if their checks had cleared. According to the report, the attorneys found the checks had never cleared.

According to the report, the firm sent out payment reminders to clients who were listed in the system as not paid.

One client told the firm that she had paid her bill, and was able to give a copy of the check. According to the report, the firm learned the client had given Wilkinson a signed blank check, but the check image showed Wilkinson had filled in her name and signed the back of the check.

According to the attorneys, Wilkinson was told not to come to work on April 29, 2020.

From April 28 through 29, several attorneys in the office began looking over the finances and found 18 instances where the bank statements didn’t match what Wilkinson had entered into the computer, according to the report.

The firm reached out to their clients who would have been involved in the discrepancies and several clients gave copies of the checks they used to pay.

According to the police report, the firm learned the checks were made out to the firm, and Wilkinson had written “pay to the order of” on the back and endorsed it with her personal account number.

The attorneys also found that the deposits they initially found that were missing entirely had a cash payment included, according to the police report.

According to the president of the firm, some clients said Wilkinson instructed them to leave the payee line blank and she would stamp it with the firm’s stamp. The president of the firm told police the firm never had a stamp.

According to the report, Wilkinson was confronted about the missing money and later emailed she wasn’t admitting to anything but was willing to set up a repayment process to pay back the missing money.

According to the Faulkner County Detention Center website, Wilkinson was released Tuesday afternoon.

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