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Mother, daughter plead guilty in theft case

POSTED: May 18, 2011 4:00 a.m.

A Dawson County woman who admitted to stealing thousands from her former employer will spend the next three months behind bars.

 

Stacy Mathews, 45, of Crane Road pleaded guilty Thursday to more than two dozen felony charges ranging from computer theft and first degree forgery to financial transaction card fraud and theft by taking.

 

The jail time, which can be served on work release at the Dawson County Detention Center, according to court documents, will be followed by nine years of probation.

 

Her daughter, 21-year-old Jessica Mathews of Dawsonville, also pleaded guilty for her involvement in the thefts.

 

The younger Mathews’ was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 45 months on probation for four misdemeanor theft charges.

 

The two women must pay $40,000 restitution to T.W. Phillips Grading, where the elder Mathews had worked for more than a decade before the theft was discovered last year.

 

Lee Darragh, district attorney for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit that includes Dawson County, was pleased with the outcome.

 

“The sentence imposed in this case was particularly appropriate in light of the fact that the victims received $140,000 in restitution up front, with another $40,000 to be paid over a period of time,” he said.

 

“As we intend with all of our cases, our office had been in constant contact with the victims, who were supportive of the resolution of the matter.”

 

Dawson County Sheriff’s Capt. Tony Wooten said company CEO Tracy Phillips reported the theft in mid-September after receiving notification of unpaid company taxes.

 

According to the indictment and arrest warrants, Stacy Matthews, an authorized signature for company accounts, used business funds to pay personal expenses, including credit card bills.

 

She also wrote more than $18,000 in checks from business accounts to her daughter, who was not employed with the grading company at the time.

 

The thefts reportedly occurred between January 2006 and July 26, 2010.

Stacy Mathews was arrested in early October. Her daughter’s arrest followed 10 days later.

 

Wooten said Phillips and his wife, Lisa, considered Stacy Mathews an “entrusted employee that was like family.”

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