Woman must repay $117,000 to former employer

52-year-old Angela Hope Baker
Staff Writer

Unless she wins the lottery or strikes it rich, a Mantee woman will have to live to be 91 years old to pay back the $117,000 she admitted stealing from her former employer.

In Lowndes County Circuit Court Monday, 52-year-old Angela Hope Baker was sentenced to 10 years in prison for embezzlement with eight years suspended and two years on house arrest. She also must serve five years on post-release supervision.

She and her attorney, Rob Robertson, told Judge Lee Coleman she could afford to pay back $250 a month to Rickman Brothers Trucking of Gardner Boulevard in Columbus where she worked as a bookkeeper for more than a decade before the company discovered something wasn’t right and brought in an auditor.

According to court records, the outside accountants and auditors needed 18 months to sort out the scheme. The company said it had lost at least $117,073. At $250 a month, it’ll take her 39.1 years to pay that off.

Apparently Baker was using company resources to pay for cellphones for herself and relatives, writing extra checks to herself and paying other expenses. It took calls from vendors about unpaid bills to set off the alarms for the company, which ended up behind on taxes and other expenses, as well, according to court records.

Baker, who is married, was arrested last April.

The indictment covers the period from Dec. 1, 2013 to Aug. 10, 2015, but investigators say the theft went on for much longer.