The bookkeeper for a Kennewick health spa has pleaded innocent to allegations she pocketed more than $59,000 by failing to make deposits for the business.
Teresa Marie Salinas, 41, is scheduled for trial May 14 in Benton County Superior Court on one count of first-degree theft.
The charge includes three aggravating circumstances: that Salinas used her position of trust; the crime involved a major economic loss for Revitalize! Health Spa & Organic Store; and there was a high degree of sophistication and planning.
Kennewick police said Salinas was hired by Revitalize! in January 2011.
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Her duties as bookkeeper of the 311 W. Kennewick Ave. business included taking the cash and checks received the previous day, reconciling them and depositing the money in the bank, according to court documents.
"On numerous occasions, (Salinas) failed to make the deposit, or would not deposit checks received," Deputy Prosecutor Megan Killgore wrote in the documents. "Instead, she would remove cash from the deposit, and add in checks previously received."
An audit of the books by the owner revealed that money was missing, and Salinas was reportedly the only employee who had access to the business computer loaded with QuickBooks. Salinas deleted the accounting software from the computer, court documents said.
She was arrested by Kennewick officers Feb. 23. Police said they seized envelopes and deposit slips that belonged to Salinas' employer during a search of her home.
Salinas is out of custody after posting bail.
Judge Bruce Spanner gave the Kennewick woman permission to travel to the west side for a few days this week for job interviews. Otherwise, she has been ordered not to leave the Tri-City area while her case is pending.
Spokane woman admits to second-degree theft
A Spokane woman admitted to hiding $2,300 in miscellaneous craft tools and scrapbooking supplies inside her purse and leaving a Kennewick store without paying for the goods.
Christine Lynn Hough, 47, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft for the Feb. 27, 2011, crime.
According to court documents, Hough was detained by a loss prevention officer at Craft Warehouse when she walked out of the store.
Kennewick Officer Wayne Meyer responded to the Canal Drive business. After being read her Miranda rights, Hough told the officer that she had stolen assorted items from the store with additional merchandise in her car, documents said.
Hough reportedly gave a store employee permission to retrieve the items from her car.
Court documents show that Hough suffers from complex post-traumatic stress disorder and she is starting a new form of therapy to address it. Since she didn't have any criminal history and is getting treatment, she was sentenced to zero time in jail.