Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bellevue woman charged with 28 felonies

Express Staff Writer

Lollie Rae Worthington

A Bellevue woman has been charged with 28 felonies for allegedly embezzling from her former employer and forging checks worth more than $30,000.

Thirty-nine-year-old Lollie Rae Worthington, who court records describe as an unemployed widow, was charged in a criminal complaint dated April 26 with 14 counts of grand theft by embezzlement and 14 counts of forgery. She is accused of misappropriating money from a Wood River Valley investment firm between November 2006 and the end of March.

Worthington was initially charged with only five crimes following her arrest by Hailey police on April 2. Subsequent investigation led to the additional charges filed on April 26.

Court records say Worthington has a previous forgery conviction for which she served time in prison.

According to probable cause affidavit filed by Hailey police officer Larry M. Clark, the case against Worthington was initiated on April 2 when John A. Orb and John A. Orb Jr. complained that the defendant had illegally cashed checks from their investment company account at First Bank of Idaho in Hailey.

The criminal complaint against Worthington identifies 14 checks allegedly altered and cashed by Worthington between Nov. 16, 2006, and March 29, 2007. The 14 checks range in amount from $1,500 to $2,900 and total $30,690.

Worthington was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on the charges in Blaine County Magistrate Court on April 24, but court records say the hearing was rescheduled for May 22 because a plea agreement was being discussed between Worthington, her court appointed attorney, Doug Werth, and the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Worthington is currently free on $20,000 bond.

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