Lakeland Woman Charged With Embezzling More than a Million Dollars

 The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Lakeland Police Department today arrested Mary Rebecca Thorn, 47, of Lakeland, Fla. for embezzling more than a million dollars from her employer. Thorn, the former comptroller of Tri-Venture Marketing, Inc. in Lakeland, was charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud, seven counts of grand theft over $100,000, one count of grand theft over $20,000, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, and eight counts of money laundering.

The investigation began in February after the president of Tri-Venture Marketing, Inc. alerted authorities that Thorn had been taking money from the company. The scheme was discovered after Thorn applied to refinance her home in the amount of $154,600. During the loan process, bank investigators discovered several discrepancies on Thorn’s application.

Agents and investigators discovered Thorn listed her annual Tri-Venture Marketing salary as $51,000 per year and also submitted an altered Tri-Venture Marketing check that was made out in the amount of $51,033.45 as proof of a bonus that she had allegedly been paid. In reality, the altered check should have been issued to another company who was doing business with Tri-Venture Marketing. In addition, investigators discovered that Thorn had filed a fictitious 1099 tax form as part of the loan application. She reported to the bank officials that she was entitled to the bonus check after purchasing $16,000 worth of software for the company. It was later determined that Thorn never purchased any software for Tri-Venture Marketing and the check had been altered.

Further investigation also revealed that Thorn began embezzling money from Tri-Venture Marketing in February 2003 and continued the scheme until it was discovered on Feb. 8, 2010. During this time, Thorn unlawfully diverted $1.4 million to her own personal use.

Thorn was booked into the Polk County Jail. Her bond was set at $250,000

The case is still ongoing and investigators anticipate filing additional charges. The case is being prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the 10th Judicial Circuit.

For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Chernosky or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Sgt Terry Smith, Public Information Officer,
Lakeland Police Department
(863) 834-6968