Prineville woman accused of $227,000 embezzlement

OSP says Redmond firm's ex-bookkeeper faked own death

POSTED: 4:32 PM PST December 14, 2012    UPDATED: 6:22 PM PST December 15, 2012 

Oregon State Police arrested a Prineville woman Friday on felony theft and forgery charges, accused of embezzling over $227,000 from the Redmond company where she worked as a bookkeeper, then sending a fake e-mail -- supposedly from her mother -- saying she had died.

An OSP Criminal Investigation Division detective arrested Christine Marie Harris, 36, at a family member's Prineville home after she was indicted by a Deschutes County grand jury on six counts of first-degree aggravated theft and eight counts of first-degree forgery, troopers said.

Harris was lodged in the Deschutes County Jail in Bend on $50,000 bail pending a court appearance.

Harris worked as a bookkeeper for UDI Corporation in Redmond from 2007 to September 4, 2012, troopers said. The embezzlement allegedly began in 2009, company officials said.

The day after she left her job, troopers said, Harris faked her death by notifying her employer in an email in her mother's name that she had died.

OSP was contacted and started the investigation Sept. 14 after the company's newly hired bookkeeper discovered the funds were missing.

OSP Det. Andrea Vaughn was the lead investigator with the assistance of the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office.