East Aurora woman charged with embezzling

Woman Accused Of Embezzling From Towne

ORCHARD PARK, NY-- An East Aurora woman is accused of stealing an estimated one million dollars from her employer.

Orchard Park Police say Billie Becker, 55, was arrested for allegedly embezzling money from Towne Automotive since at least 2012.

Investigators say Towne Automotive officials discovered the theft after a credit card company called inquiring about a credit card the company was not aware of.

Police say they believe Becker was using the credit card to pay for personal accounts.

The case is still under investigation, and more charges could be filed against Becker and others. 

2 On Your Side went to attorney Barry Covert for legal analysis.

"Usually when you first find out about an embezzlement case, it usually then increases by magnitudes of two or three as to what the final amount is in my experience, so if this is the initial amount by the time they get through all the books and find out if she and or other people were also engaged in further embezzlement, it could be a much higher amount," says Covert.

We also asked Covert whether federal charges could be filed.

"Absolutely, it could involve federal charges because you'd believe that she defrauded the credit card company that she filled out false information. That could be mail fraud, wire fraud, so there certainly could be federal charges involved. In addition, it's hard to imagine that she reported this as part of her income taxes, so there could be income tax liability as well," says Covert.

And while the current charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, Covert says if prosecutors have a strong case against Becker, the probability of a plea deal is pretty high.

"In our system right now, 96-percent of all cases are getting pled out. So you could expect that her lawyers, if the case is strong enough, will be looking for some type of a plea deal," says Covert.

The Human Resources Director for Towne Automotive told 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik that the company had no comment.

Becker posted $10,000 bail and was released to her friends.


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