Arizona Woman Charged with Stealing $5.3M from Employers

Arizona Woman Charged with Stealing $5.3M from Employers

A bookkeeper in Arizona has been charged with several counts of theft, computer tampering, forgery, money laundering, and other offenses as outlined by Mark Brnovich, Arizona’s attorney general. The woman allegedly embezzled more than $5.3 million from two different employers as well as a homeowner’s association in Mexico. With the proceeds, she fueled her gambling habit around numerous Tucson casinos.

Companies Lose Millions Because of the Fraud

According to prosecutors, Helen Marie Dahlstrom, who is a native of Tucson, stole the money between 2013 and 2020. Her scheme was not too complicated and Dahlstrom just wrote out and cashed checks. She used the same modus operandi at both her employers, name Lauderbach Builders Supply and L&L Manufactured Components.

Having control and access to the companies’ finances, Dahlstrom found it easier to fudge the numbers, prosecutors argued. However, her alleged wrongdoing did not end there either. She further embezzled money from Rocky Point homeowner’s association. During the years over which she worked the accounts, Dahlstrom used forgery of financial statements to stay under the radar.

Now, she will have to prove her innocence against a mounting pile of evidence. The Special Investigations Section working for the attorney general’s office seems to have enough to argue its case successfully, though.

Suspect Now to Defend Herself in Court  

Tucson’s area is rich in casino properties as well, with at least six viable choices where the bookkeeper may have spent her ill-gotten funds.

The attorney general did not bring any charges against casino property or suggested that they are in some way associated or have failed to exert sufficient due diligence. Dahlstrom’s case is another example of gambling driving people to commit crimes to fund their habits.

Previously, a London man in the United Kingdom was jailed over stealing from charity to gamble. A woman in Australia was jailed for stealing $230,000 which she spent on various games of chance as well.

If Dahlstrom is found guilty, she will be looking at a lengthy prison sentence.