By Jason A. Smith
A McDonough woman pleaded guilty Monday to writing more than $76,000 in checks to herself, using her former employer's money.
In Henry County Supoerior Court, Lidia Holland Oglesby, 35, was sentenced to 10 years' probation. Oglesby faced 28 counts of forgery, and one count of theft by taking. According to a January indictment, Oglesby took $76,583.24 from The Tensar Corporation in Morrow, while working in the company's accounting department.
According to a March press release from McDonough Police, Oglesby wrote checks to herself from Tensar, a site-development company located in Morrow, and specializing in engineering technologies. According to the report, Oglesby wrote checks to herself between 2001 and 2005, while working in Tensar's accounting department.
She was arrested following a joint investigation by the Clayton County Police Department and the McDonough Police Department earlier this year.
McDonough Police Capt. Kyle Helgerson said in March that Oglesby presented 15 checks to the former Southtrust Bank at 87 Keys Ferry St., in McDonough, from December of 2002 to December of 2005, totaling more than $22,500.
Court documents in Clayton County show that Oglesby forged checks at the Suntrust/Wachovia location at 7155 Jonesboro Rd., in Morrow, between July of 2004 and January of 2006.
The company discovered Oglesby's alleged crime during an internal audit, according to Claire Klaczak, Tensar's Human Resources Director, who first reported Oglesby to police.
"After our discovery, she admitted that she had taken the money," Klaczak said in March.
Further investigation showed Oglesby cashed 13 other forged checks, totaling more than $50,000 from Tensar at the Southtrust location, according to authorities.
Defense attorney Clay Davis said Monday that Oglesby, while working for Tensar, discovered a similar type of theft being perpetrated by another employee and reported it to her superiors, even though she suspected her own actions would be discovered as well. He said there was "no collusion" between Oglesby and the co-worker, whose name was not availabile Monday.
He said Oglesby, after admitting the thefts to the company, continued to work with the company, training new personnel on how to identify such thefts.
Davis said his client was diagnosed, after her arrest, with a "shopping addiction" called impulsive control disorder, and depression. Oglesby, he said, is "extremely remorseful," is undergoing counseling and "vows that society will never have another problem with her."
In addition to probation, Oglesby was ordered to pay back the money she took from Tensar. Davis said members of Oglesby's family have come up with $39,000 to aid in the restitution effort. Oglesby, he said, will pay the remaining funds back to Tensar, at $1,000 a month.