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Wednesday preliminary hearing for woman charged with embezzling thousands

Feb 17, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Rachel Marie Cox, 41, of Riverton, made an initial appearance Feb. 12 in Riverton Circuit Court for seven charges alleging she embezzled from her former employer, Carlson Equipment.

Circuit Court Judge Wesley Roberts explained the charges and her rights to Cox. He set her preliminary hearing for Feb. 19 and her bail at $20,000 cash or surety.

Prosecutors allege she stole more than $15,000 from the rural Riverton agriculture and construction equipment dealer. The Fremont County Sheriff's Office arrested her Feb. 11

An affidavit from Fremont County Sheriff's Office detective Eric Granlund said Cox took money by making personal purchases on her company debit card, taking cash from cash sales, writing checks to herself from company accounts, and adding hours she did not work to her time card, all between March and August 2013.

The maximum penalties for Cox's four counts of larceny by baillee and three of theft total 60.5 years in prison and $60,750 in fines.

Brook Miller, of Carlson Equipment, contacted the Sheriff's Office to report Cox on Aug. 29, Granlund stated.

Miller told the investigators Cox was hired as a bookkeeper for Carlson on Jan. 29, 2013, and fired Aug. 29.

Cox used the debit card to buy a laptop computer and make cash withdrawals at Walmart in Riverton and the Wind River Casino, according to the affidavit. Investigators have evidence against Cox including copies of checks, bank statements and her own words, Granlund stated.

Cox on Dec. 13 told Granlund she did buy the computer with her company card but asserted she was paying the her employer back, though she never received permission for the transaction, according to the detective.

Bank statements showed thousands dollars of unauthorized, personal purchases on the company debit card, according to the affidavit.

Miller also provided a copy of a Carl-son Equipment check made out to Cox and signed by her for $2,800, cashed Aug. 16.

At her preliminary hearing, prosecutors will have to present evidence to show probable cause for each charge against Cox.

Roberts will decide if prosecutors met their burden for each count.

The judge will bind over the charges for which probable cause was shown and dismiss those for which it was not.

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