A former employee of a Grand Junction car dealer is in jail after embezzling over $200,000 from the business. Could this happen at your business?

The former employee is charged with embezzling a total of $221,000 from Grand West Kia between January 2011 and June 2016.

Mesa County Sheriff's Office

The accused embezzler, 45-year-old Nicole Henderson, is said to have written and cashed checks to herself and other family members and logged the disbursements as legitimate payments.

Henderson voluntarily turned herself into police and was remanded to the Mesa County Detention Facility on a No Bond Hold until her first court appearance.

Henderson is facing a charge of theft which is a Class 3 Felony. If convicted, Henderson can face 4-8 years in prison and 5 years mandatory parole.

How was Henderson able to embezzle so much money over multiple years? According to information provided to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Henderson, who was the dealership's office manager, took advantage of the lack of checks and balances in the dealership's accounting.

She used that and her knowledge of the business's finances to create fake payees and use multiple other accounts to write dozens of fraudulent checks over multiple years without anyone noticing.

While this is unfortunate for Grand West Kia, it's also a stern reminder to all businesses, even if you trust your employees, to have sound accounting practices in place to preserve the integrity and honesty of the company's bookkeeping.

[MCSONews][GJSeninel.com]