An Escambia County woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing over $64,000 from her employer over a two year period.
Linda Lee Hanford, 51, was charged with felony grand theft and felony scheme to defraud for diverting the money from internet sales to her personal account.
Handford was hired to run an internet site selling electric golf cart accessories by Lender Services, owned by automotive dealer Eddie Mercer. As a contract employee, she was paid $13.50 per hour to take orders, pass the orders to a vendor for delivery to customers and transfer the customer’s payment into a Lender Services bank account.
She would sell products at or below cost and keep the entire cost of the product for herself, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
At the time Hanford was hired by Lender Services she was, and remains, on probation for a local felony theft conviction in 2005. In 2006, she was ordered to have “no job receiving funds or paying out funds”.
Once Hanford was contacted by a Sheriff’s Office investigator and her probation officer, she sent several rambling text messages to Mercer, begging his forgiveness, blaming her actions on jealousy and depression and stating she was undergoing treatment for a “severe compulsive disorder”, according to an arrest report.