by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. —
A Forsyth County grand jury indicted a woman on six counts of felony theft from her former employer.
Karalee Sciukas, 60, is accused of stealing nearly $250,000 from her former company, Engineered Architectural Systems.
The Alpharetta firm has done structural work for companies like McDonald's and major car dealerships.
Owner Peter DeSantis told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri that Sciukas was the company's comptroller for six years.
"She was intimately aware of everything that was going on, especially financially. She was controlling all that. We trusted her," DeSantis said.
In 2010, coworkers noticed financial discrepancies.
"She wrote checks to herself. She cashed excessive petty cash checks on a regular basis. She wrote checks to businesses she operated under her name," said former coworker Amy Drummond.
Drummond explained Sciukas disguised stolen funds as payments to vendors and often used them to pay her personal credit card bills.
DeSantis said the company was struggling financially during the recession and needed that money to pay employees he was forced to lay off.
Records show Sciukas registered another business, Black Rock Signs, in Forsyth County this year. The address listed is Sciukas' home.
She told Viteri she had no comment.
DeSantis said Sciukas repaid $25,000 of the stolen funds. The company is planning a civil lawsuit as the criminal case moves forward.