Goldston woman charged with embezzling nearly $1 million

BY D. LARS DOLDER, News + Record Staff
Posted 6/9/21

SILER CITY ­— A Chatham businesswoman has been charged with embezzling nearly $1 million from her Siler City employer.

Cheryl Rouse Fields, 65, of Goldston allegedly stole more than …

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Goldston woman charged with embezzling nearly $1 million

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Posted
Updated:

SILER CITY ­— A Chatham businesswoman has been charged with embezzling nearly $1 million from her Siler City employer.

Cheryl Rouse Fields, 65, of Goldston allegedly stole more than $900,000 over the course of at least 10 years from the Basic Machinery Company where she worked as an administrative manager and oversaw the business’s payroll, according to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.

Police were first alerted to the potential crime in March. An internal company audit uncovered inconsistencies in documentation, a CCSO press release said. Further investigation revealed Fields had been overpaying herself for at least a decade.

Fields was arrested on charges of felony embezzlement and felony corporate malfeasance. She was issued a written promise to appear in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro on June 7.

North Carolina law classifies embezzlement of more than $100,000 as a Class C Felony punishable by up to nearly 20 years in prison and typically requiring full restitution of stolen funds. Of all corporate embezzlement cases globally, about 20% include figures of $1 million or more, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. The ACFE discovered a median loss in 2020 of about $125,000 based on a study of more the 2,500 occupational fraud cases across 125 counties.

Reporter D. Lars Dolder can be reached at dldolder@chathamnr.com and on Twitter @dldolder.

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