Ex-payroll clerk used inside info to steal $30,000

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A former salary clerk with one of Greencastle's East Side industrial plants is facing charges of forgery, theft and identity deception in connection with a payroll scam allegedly perpetrated over a five-month period in 2011.

Amanda S. Mills, 41, Brazil, is lodged in the Putnam County Jail on the three felony charges after turning herself in to authorities earlier this week.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Putnam Circuit Court, Mills allegedly stole nearly $30,000 from Heartland Automotive Inc., 300 Warren Drive, while she was employed as a payroll clerk for the company between May 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2011.

Mills has been charged with:

-- Forgery, a Class C felony, for allegedly writing checks in such a manner that they were purported to have been issued by Heartland Automotive.

-- Theft, a Class D felony, for allegedly stealing $29,696.63 from Heartland Automotive.

-- Identity deception, a Class D felony, for allegedly knowing or intentionally obtaining, possessing, transferring or using the identification information of Heartland employees without their consent.

During an initial appearance Monday in Putnam Circuit Court, Mills entered a not-guilty plea. The court set a pre-trial conference for 10 a.m. Sept. 20 with bond set at $5,000 cash.

Mills, who was terminated by the company for "job performance issues" last Halloween, was ordered to have no contact with officials of Heartland Automotive or any of its employees.

According to Greencastle Police Det. Michael Collins' report, documentation shows Mills used seven different former employees' names to make out bogus payroll checks, which were then deposited in her own personal bank account.

The reported scam came to light when a former Heartland employee contacted the company around tax time to question some payroll information.

He wondered why records indicated he had reportedly received income from Heartland during 2011 when he had not worked for the Greencastle company at all during that year.

When the current payroll clerk looked into the matter, Det. Collins noted, she found that Mills had made out several checks to former Heartland employees. She then reportedly had those checks automatically deposited into her bank account at First Financial Bank.

That discovery led Heartland officials to call in Greencastle Police to investigate.

"Amanda also got into each former employee's personnel account with Heartland and changed their bank account information from theirs to hers," Det. Collins stated in his report.

The defendant also allegedly changed tax withholding figures on the bogus checks she wrote so that the checks would not be taxed as much as required.

Collins also noted that Mills added 40 hours of paid vacation time to her work file.

"These things went on from June 8, 2011 until Oct. 7, 2011," Det. Collins reported.

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  • I hope she wasn't collecting unemployment after she was let go. If so, she should have to re-pay that back. haha like that would ever happen

    -- Posted by putcocvb on Thu, May 17, 2012, at 8:02 AM
  • Apparently this wasn't her first rodeo. She had alot of people fooled with her charming personality. It just goes to show that you can't trust just anyone these days. I feel sorry for her children, her parents and everyone that thought they knew her. Sad, very sad.

    -- Posted by HAIFAN_59 on Thu, May 17, 2012, at 8:08 PM
  • you can draw unemployment when you are fired-happens all the time-and if you take a job and quit you can get unemployment started back up

    -- Posted by peace2019 on Fri, May 18, 2012, at 8:25 AM
  • Bond is only $5,000? Do you take checks??

    Also, she really looks like someone I know. Wonder if "Amanda Mills" is just one of her alias's and she IS the person I know. Hummmm.....

    -- Posted by My Dime on Sat, May 19, 2012, at 8:12 AM
  • Bond seems kinda high to me if you take into account the last person who got arrested for stealing money from thier employer.I bet she wishes her hubby was an ex-state cop. Speaking of that BG how come we never got a pic of Mishler in the paper and why does it seem as though it has been buried by the media. I will say though rumor has it Mishler is going to do jail time.

    -- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Sun, May 20, 2012, at 8:10 AM
  • Wow her poor kids and family. They will always wonder what gifts they got over the last year that was with stolen money. Why do people think they can steal money and get away with it? The lies catch up! The reality is this debt will never be repaid. Who will hire her? So many people hurt for an amount that could have been earned the honest way. Based on her history I hope for her kid's sake she is on suicide watch.

    -- Posted by Classof89 on Tue, May 22, 2012, at 4:47 PM
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