Police: Bookkeeper embezzled, used money to pay restitution
A Seminole woman is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from her employer, then using some of that money to pay restitution from a previous conviction. Kristina E. Melvin, 45, 8184 129th St. N., was arrested Wednesday and charged with grand theft of more than $100,000 and violation of probation. Police found that she embezzled the money via a PayPal account, falsification of payroll records and inappropriate use of a company credit card. Detectives said that between Jan. 1 and Dec. 29, 2011, Melvin worked at home as an office manager/bookkeeper for Seats and Chairs.com, which buys used seats from stadiums and theaters, and then refurbishes and resells them. Detectives said Melvin created a fictitious PayPal account with a business name similar to one of the company's long-time vendors. The fictitious account was linked to the suspect’s bank account.Melvin sent multiple invoices from the fictitious PayPal account to Seats and Chairs, and then paid the invoices from her employer's bank account, sending the funds from the company’s PayPal account to hers, police said. According to detectives, Melvin took about $98,601.99 this way. Also, detectives say Melvin wrote three checks from this bank account — totaling $4,010.49 — to pay restitution in a grand theft case in 2008. That case was investigated by Pinellas Park police. Melvin also added fraudulent stipend amounts to her compensation, totaling $5,600 between April and December 2012, detectives said. In addition, Melvin used a company issued credit card to pay $838.02 to a Venice company to cover costs of a horse show in which she participated, police said. Melvin was taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where she is being held on $50,000 bail. The investigation continues.