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Couple accused of embezzling money from Great Neck Country Club

By Izaskun E. Larraņeta

Publication: theday.com

Published December 18. 2013 1:00PM   Updated December 19. 2013 12:13AM

 

A couple that worked at Great Neck Country Club in Waterford are accused of embezzling more than $40,000 from the private club.

Tracy Lane-Emmons and Eric Emmons were arrested by Waterford police last month and were each charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.

Lane-Emmons, 34, of New London appeared in New London Superior Court on Tuesday, where she was served with a violation of probation warrant.

According to an arrest warrant prepared by Waterford Detective John A. Davis on Oct. 7, he received a complaint from club owner Ann Mortimer.

Mortimer told police that Lane-Emmons, who at the time of her employment was not married, worked as a part-time bookkeeper at the country club while Emmons worked as a groundskeeper.

Mortimer told police that Great Neck Country Club is comprised of two separate businesses for accounting purposes — the Great Neck Country Club and Langley’s Restaurant.

She told police that Lane-Emmons and Emmons were paid every Friday from the Great Neck Country Club payroll and were never on the restaurant’s payroll.

Lane-Emmons was hired in May and was in charge of reconciling the two businesses’ various bank accounts. She also had access to the computerized checkbooks and paper check stock, but was not authorized to create checks or sign them, the warrant says.

Emmons was hired in June but was fired two months later for attendance issues. His last payroll check was issued on Aug. 16.

Mortimer told police that she had to hire a local accountant because Lane-Emmons failed to complete her office duties. The accountant found numerous discrepancies in the checking accounts. The accountant compared the images of the canceled bank checks to those that appeared within the business’ computerized check book register. The actual canceled bank checks were made payable to either Lane-Emmons or Emmons, but appeared in the computer system to have been made out to various vendors, the warrant states.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that 101 business checks were fraudulently created and were either cashed at Liberty Bank or Charter Oak Federal Credit Union branches. The checks totaled $43,049.99.

The warrant says that a total of 56 forged checks were made to Lane-Emmons. Forty-eight were from the Country Club account and eight from Langley’s account. The warrant states that 54 of those checks were endorsed by Lane-Emmons, which she had no authority to do. Her driver’s license was taken as identification for 47 of the 56 checks.

A total of 45 checks were made to Emmons — 44 from the country club account and one from the restaurant. Police said 39 checks were written to him after he received his last official payroll check.

The warrant says that Mortimer was contacted by Lane-Emmons’ probation officer, who said that Lane-Emmons admitted to the larceny.

Probation Officer John Watts was interviewed by police on Oct. 29. Watts said that on Oct. 15, Lane-Emmons freely admitted to stealing about $60,000. Watts told police, “The offender blamed the business for leaving blank business checks inside an unlocked safe.”

Lane-Emmons was also charged with violation of probation. On May 17, she was sentenced to a suspended three-month sentence and one year probation for sixth-degree larceny.

While on probation, Lane-Emmons violated the terms of her release by using alcohol and drugs and by missing appointments at her mandated drug treatment program, the warrant says. She also tested positive for heroin, cocaine and morphine.

She also missed required visits with her probation officer and was arrested while on probation.

Lane-Emmons’ next court date is schedule for Jan. 9, while her husband was scheduled to appear Wednesday in New London Superior Court.

i.larraneta@theday.com

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