Beaufort News

Bluffton woman gets 2 years for embezzlement

A Bluffton woman was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison for embezzling more than $140,000 from a local property-management business.

Christie Linares, 41, worked as a bookkeeper for seven years for a Bluffton commercial property-management company, according to a news release from the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office. When the company's owner moved out of the area in 2010, Linares was given authority to sign checks. That's when the embezzlement began, according to the release.

In July, authorities discovered Linares had used the company's credit cards company checking account for personal expenses. The stolen money came from the company's account and from accounts associated with properties the company managed.

Linares pleaded guilty to one count of breach of trust with fraudulent intent. Following her sentence, Linares will be placed on five years probation and must pay $143,000 in restitution.