GONZALES — City police officers arrested a St. Amant woman Tuesday on allegations she embezzled more than $200,000 over nearly six years from a Gonzales furniture store where she had been the manager.
Shannon Denyse Desira, 40, 44165 Bayou Blvd., St. Amant, changed payroll records at the Big Ben Rent World furniture store on South Burnside Avenue, eliminated deductions from her own paychecks and gave herself extra paychecks to which she was not entitled, police said in a statement.
Police said the embezzlement occurred between 2008 and 2014 while Desira was in charge of handling payroll and accounts payable for the store.
Gonzales police detective Sgt. Steven Nethken said Desira surrendered to investigators Tuesday morning and admitted to the fraud but disputed the total amount — $200,451.04 — police officers and store accountants say she stole.
Donna Duplessis, an accountant with Big Ben who investigated the alleged theft, said she probed payroll discrepancies for six weeks after Desira had a conversation with the store owner that led the owner to take a closer look at payroll reports.
That investigation turned up discrepancies, Duplessis said.
She said Desira was “let go” in late August.
Desira was booked into Ascension Parish Prison near Donaldsonville with one count of felony theft in excess of $25,000, police said. Her bail had not been set as of midmorning Tuesday.