Local News

Woman accused of stealing $100,000 from law firm

— A Sebring woman has admitted to stealing more than $100,000 from her employer’s trust account for clients, according to a warrant affidavit released Monday.

Kathryn Barnes Avirett, 38, 4208 Leaf Road, Sebring, was arrested June 27 and charged with first-degree grand theft, scheme to defraud involving $50,000 or more and making false entries into corporate books.

The affidavit said the victim, an attorney, had questioned Avirett, the attorney’s office manager, several months before her arrest about a negative balance in the trust account. Avirett told the attorney she would correct the records that needed to be updated, the report said.

But sometime later when the attorney raised more questions, Avirett admitted stealing about $111,000, the affidavit said.

Avirett told the attorney that since 2012 clients would give her cash, which would normally be deposited into the trust account, the report said.

But instead of putting the money into the account, Avirett would keep the money, the report said.

She would then credit the client’s account and make other accounting entries to indicate the books were balanced when that wasn’t the case, the report said.

Avirett told the attorney that “she was going to repay the money, but that was it (the taking of money) got out of control,” the report said.

Avirett also told the attorney that the trust account lacked money to pay for services to clients.


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