Johnston County woman charged for embezzling $30K from former job

By  | 

TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) - "For the last 8 years I never expected anything like this to happen to us," PBR Equipment manager Brandon Blue said.

PBR Equipment is a family owned commercial kitchen supply and grocery store equipment company that's been in business for 40 years.

They say they lost thousands of dollars, after an employee allegedly embezzled money from the company.

Court documents state Lawanda Valle, 39, embezzled more than $31,000 from June 2016 through December 2017.

"Kind of put us all in a shock, just in a daze because this is somebody that we treated like family," Blue said.

Blue is a manager, and his parents own the company.

He says Valle worked there for 8 years.

She was one of 15 employees and Blue says his mother treated her like family.

"My mom asked her what did you need it for, she said I just needed it, I had to have it," Blue said.

Blue says the loss has forced them to make cuts.

"That kind of money really hurts a small business like ours," He said.

And while Valle faces a felony charge, she's out on bond and was never booked into the county jail.

"That's something that we couldn't believe, I mean here it is, you steal that kind of money (over $30,000 you embezzle from a company) and then you not get arrested for it," Blue said, "kinda makes you wonder about really what's going on in our judicial system."

The District Attorney's office says Valle wasn't arrested because it wasn't a violent crime.

She's due back in court in May.

"It's overwhelming to take, it hurts us a family," Blue said.