Trisha Lynn McLaughlin, 36, of Warminster, turned herself into Newtown Township police in Bucks County Thursday after being accused of embezzlement.
Police say she misappropriated more than $355,000 from the Newtown Veterinary Hospital during her work as practice manager.
The investigation began in February of last year when the hospital’s owner came to police with suspicions. McLaughlin was fired in December of 2011, police say, because her boss suspected her of stealing $3,000. That number grew quickly once investigators say, once they started digging.
The owner told police that checks would be written out to Trisha McLaughlin from the business and she would cash them, and that she also would over-pay herself when she did payroll.
The company charge card was used to make personal purchases such as fuel oil for her home, investigators say.
McLaughlin is also accused of buying gift certificates that were supposed to be used as gifts for other employees but they were never given out. Just before she was fired, the owner says his bank told him that McLaughlin withdrew cash from his money market account. Police say she spent money on clothes, shoes, at the hair salon, and membership fees to the Newtown Athletic Club.
The owner says McLaughlin denied stealing from the clinic. She wrote him saying she considered it a loan -- that she was borrowing money with the intention to pay it back and pleaded with the owner not to go to the authorities or deny her unemployment benefits.
McLaughlin was released on $250,000 bail.