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Woman charged with stealing $5M from employer, Big Rock Sports

BEAUFORT A Newport woman stole more than $5 million from her employer over five years, spending the money on travel, merchandise from the Internet and gambling sites, authorities said.

Susan Garcia, 42, was arrested Friday after she was indicted by a grand jury on eight felony charges of obtaining property by false pretense, District Attorney Scott Thomas said. Each count faces a maximum of eight years in prison if convicted.

Garcia worked for Big Rock Sports LLC, and one of her duties was to track the use of company credit cards. Garcia used several of those credit cards to make the purchases and gamble, then falsified accounting records to cover the spending up, authorities said.

Garcia bought items from Internet retailers, paid for trips for herself and gambled online with the money she stole, investigators said.

Big Rock Sports is based in Graham and distributes sporting goods to 15,000 shooting, hunting, fishing and camping stores in the United States, Canada and nearly a dozen other countries.

The company notified police after realizing problems with its accounts. Thomas said the investigation started in the fall of 2012.

Big Rock Sports didn’t realize so much money was being stolen because the company does so much business and Garcia was extra careful to hide what she was doing, Thomas said.

The company said in a statement it is cooperating with authorities and wouldn’t talk further about the thefts.

Garcia is being held in the Carteret County Jail on a $5 million bond. It wasn’t known if she had an attorney.

Her first appearance in court is scheduled for the week starting June 3.

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