Bluffton woman sentenced in embezzling case

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WCIV) -{}A 41-year-old Bluffton woman was sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday for embezzling more than $140,000 from a local property management business.

Christie Linares pleaded guilty to one count of breach of trust with fraudulent intent.

For seven years, she worked as a bookkeeper for a Bluffton commercial property management company, prosecutors argued. When the company's owner moved out of the area in 2010, Linares was given the authority to sign checks and the embezzlement began.

In July 2012,{}management discovered that Linares was using company credit cards and wrote checks out of company checking accounts for her own personal benefit.

The money that was stolen came from both the company's operating account and from accounts associated with commercial properties managed by the company, officials proved in court.

During Thursday's hearing,{}a judge{}ordered Linares be placed on five years of probation following her prison sentence and that she pay more than $143,000 in restitution.