An information technology employee is being charged with felony embezzlement for stealing more than $10,000 from Neptune Aviation, according to court documents filed Thursday in Missoula County Justice Court.
Tera Christine Pyron, 42, was booked and released this week in the Missoula County jail on theft by embezzlement charges, according to the Missoula County Inmate Information Portal.
She is charged with using her company credit card to make personal purchases, including nail polish and scuba gear, according to the complaint and affidavit of probable cause from deputy county attorney Karla Painter.
The court filing outlines the following:
On July 23, a deputy responded to Neptune for report of a theft and spoke with Chief of Staff Michael Pfau and CEO Ronald Hooper.
"They explained Neptune's information technology manager, Tera Pyron, had been using a company credit card to purchase personal ... items including a big-screen television, golf bags and scuba gear.
"They stated Pyron used her company credit card to order merchandise from Amazon. Once the items arrived, Pyron would remove the receipts and alter them before submitting them to the financial department."
Neptune's Jennifer Cles "discovered the unauthorized transactions during an audit," the affidavit said.
The finance and accounting officer observed discrepancies related to Pyron's company credit card, the court document said; she saw that original receipts from Neptune's Amazon account did not match the product descriptions and inventory items submitted to accounting.
"The purchases included clothes, accessories, electronics, nail polish, household appliances, sporting goods and other personal items," the court document said. Hooper estimated the total would exceed $12,000.
According to the affidavit, Pyron admitted she bought the items, shipped them to the company, and then took them home. She said she worked for Neptune for roughly four years.
"Pyron stated she printed the Amazon receipts and then altered the description using ADOBE software to a business-related item, such as printer toner," the court filing said. Then, she submitted the receipt for reimbursement to the company credit card account.
"Pyron acknowledged she had engaged in the scheme for approximately one-and-a-half years," the affidavit said. "When Deputy (Michael) Hash asked why Pyron did it, she stated, 'Life.' "
The felony is punishable by as many as 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.