Woman allegedly embezzles up to $95,000 from employer

SNOHOMISH — A Snohomish woman is accused of embezzling up to $95,000 from the dentist office where she worked for five years.

Terri Kakalecik, 40, was the bookkeeper and office manager for a dental office on Maple Avenue. She resigned last year after her employer confronted her about some discrepancies involving payments from patients. The suspect reportedly told the dentist that she had cooked the books to hide her forging checks from patients and depositing them into her personal account, court papers said.

Prosecutors have charged Kakalecik with first-degree theft, a felony.

Kakalecik made her first appearance Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court. She pleaded not guilty to the charge. She remained out of custody, pending her trial scheduled for October.

The dentist reported the theft to police in summer 2011 after spending hundreds of hours checking patient and payment records. She found more than $25,000 missing.

A certified public accountant was hired to audit the books. Police also seized Kakalecik’s bank records. The investigation uncovered checks written to the dentist that had been altered and deposited in Kakalecik’s account, court papers said. Additionally, thousands of dollars in cash was embezzled.

The accountant determined that upwards of $95,000 was missing.

A detective spoke with Kakalecik earlier this year. She reportedly told the detective she took about $3,500, but then said she had “no idea” how much she had siphoned from her employer, court papers said. She allegedly admitted that she took checks from patients and insurance companies and deposited them in her personal bank account, police wrote in documents. She reportedly told the detective she used the money to pay for her child’s college education and living expenses.

The detective reported that Kakalecik said she planned to pay back the money when she could, but admitted that she didn’t know how much she had taken. She reportedly said she was keeping a “running total in her head with the intent of paying it all back.”

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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