RICHLAND, Wash. — A Richland woman paid to manage the finances for a private equestrian club has pleaded innocent to embezzling nearly $111,000.
The Tri-City Herald reports 48-year-old Katrine Smith is charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree theft. It includes the allegation she used her position of trust or fiduciary responsibility to commit the crime.
Court documents say Smith was treasurer for the Richland Riders Club and when confronted said she knew it was wrong but that she needed financial help.
Documents say she paid back $38,000 she said she borrowed, but a professional audit found $73,000 still missing.
Documents say Smith denied taking additional money, and blamed discrepancies on the club’s turnover in the secretary position and the accounting software.
The audit showed she wrote nearly 300 club checks to herself over the seven years she was responsible for bookkeeping services.