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Bookkeeper accused of stealing more than $142,000

While working at the American Legion, Desiree Noechel wrote checks to herself and sham businesses over the course of a year, prosecutors said.

DENVER — A former bookkeeper for the American Legion of Denver is accused of embezzling more than $142,000 over the course of a year, the Denver District Attorney's Office announced.

Desiree Noechel is accused of stealing the money between May 2019 and June 2020 when she worked for the Legion.

She pleaded guilty to theft, a class three felony, on Friday, however during a hearing the judge refused to accept the sentencing stipulations which meant that her plea was not accepted.

A new hearing for the plea is set for July 19.

> Above video: Common scams in Colorado.

RELATED: Former employee charged with stealing more than $770,000 from CDOT

After resigning from her job, the chief administrative officer of the American Legion of Colorado, along with a new bookkeeper, discovered inconsistencies in records and ordered a full audit.

Credit: DPD
Desiree Noechel

That audit revealed that Noechel wrote checks to her personal account and to a sham company, DCom Bookkeeping and Graphics, which she established on May 22, 2019, and began using to commit the theft eight days later.

RELATED: Colorado man racked up more than $300k in fraudulent credit card purchases, police say

Under the deal that was not accepted Friday, Noechel would have paid restitution in the amount of $158,000 for the theft, interest and cost of the independent audit as part of the deal.

(Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the status of the plea deal).

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