An employee that had worked her way up to office manager for a group of car dealerships is charged with embezzling more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Ashley Coffey, 24, of 852 Downer Ave. S., was arrested Saturday at her mother's house in Tice and charged with first-degree grand theft.
An investigation by the Lee County Sheriff's Office reveals that over a period from Oct. 2, 2008 until April 9, 2012, Coffey used her position for Sonic Automotive - doing business as Volkswagen of Fort Myers, BMW of Fort Myers, Mercedes Benz of Fort Myers and Honda of Fort Myers - to embezzle $256,482.
Coffey would look up old customer numbers in the computer and overwrite the information. She would then generate bogus extended warranty cancellations and cut refund checks in her name.
Needing a second signature on the checks, Coffey forged the signatures of other office managers and deposited the checks into her personal account via ATMs.