An Alva woman was arrested and charged in connection with the theft of $818,339.37 between February 2010 and May 2011 while employed as a bookkeeper for Easy Picker Golf Products Inc. in Lehigh Acres.
Bonnie Denning, 39, of 18120 River Chase Court, Alva, was arrested June 26, and has been charged with first degree grand theft and scheming to defraud, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
The theft was brought to the attention of investigators on May 20, 2011 when one of the business owners filed a report. Investigators with the Economic Crimes Unit immediately began to conduct an investigation into the allegations and uncovered a myriad of expenditures made by Denning for her personal use, a spokesman with the Lee County Sheriff's Office said.
Prior to involvement by the Sheriff's Office investigators, the business owners said they suspected something was amiss when they began to experience cash flow problems. They turned their business records over to a certified public accountant for analysis and he identified unusual wire transfers and a large number of debit card transactions from the business.
Multiple checks had been written and a debit card had been obtained for the business by Denning, the audit showed. Investigators said she had even written a check for $5,295.76 for shutters for her home.
Further investigation revealed 54 unauthorized wire transfers totaling $358,885.50 including $4,799.58 for granite installation for her home and $29,160.00 for a drug rehabilitation program for a relative.
Investigators said she is accused of also making 60 unauthorized debit card purchases totaling $411,387. A majority of the debit card purchases were to online clothing stores, gas stations, electronic retailers and home furniture stores.
The total amount wire transferred by Denning into other accounts without permission or authority to do so was $358,885.50, according to investigators. This included $269,534.88 that had been wired to businesses in which Bonnie Denning is the officer/ registered agent through the Florida Division of Corporations.
Investigators said these businesses include: Southern Land Property Management Company LLC, The Burson-Denning Group Inc., Southern Land Investment & Real Estate Inc., J&B Real Estate Inc., and BL Properties LLC.