A Richland woman apologized Thursday for embezzling more than $14,500 while working as the office manager for a Richland web software creator.
Lisa Louise McGaughey, 31, provided Benton County prosecutors with a check for $5,000 before being sentenced Thursday, which covered the full restitution being sought by &yet's insurance company.
"I'm aware of the damage I've done to the company and my family, and I'm ashamed and I'm really sorry," McGaughey told Superior Court Judge Craig Matheson. "I made those decisions before I had my daughter and every time I look at her I think I'm a terrible role model."
McGaughey pleaded guilty May 17 to second-degree theft. She had been charged with first-degree theft, but prosecutors reduced the charge because the owner of &yet didn't want to pursue charges against McGaughey, and her lack of criminal history.
The plea deal also included a requirement that McGaughey pay at least $1,000 owed to the insurance company.
Deputy Prosecutor Kristin McRoberts recommended a one-month sentence, with no objection to work crew or work release. She said that the victim didn't want to see McGaughey prosecuted "says a lot about the defendant."
McGaughey worked for &yet and had access to the company's checking and savings accounts via a debit card, when the theft occurred between Sept. 12 and Dec. 12, 2011.
During that time, she kept $1,696.45 in cash back from legitimate purchases, instead of returning it to her employer, court documents said. She also made $1,960 in unauthorized checking withdrawals and $10,869 in unauthorized savings withdrawals from the company accounts, documents said.
McGaughey was fired after the theft was discovered Dec. 12.
Because of the business' financial loss, the matter had to be reported to its insurance company, which then contacted Richland police, prosecutors said.
Defense attorney Dan Arnold said he was as surprised as his client that she committed the offense and told the judge, "We're not going to see her again."
McGaughey asked if home monitoring was available, but Judge Matheson said it wasn't. He agreed to give her two weeks to report to jail and said the time can be completed on work crew or work release.
Adam Brault, owner of &yet, told the Herald that McGaughey was a very close part of their team and is "somebody that we cared immensely about and still continue to do so."
"We completely forgive her ... and very, very strongly want her to forgive herself and move forward," he said.