MCSO: accountant stole thousands from vet clinic, church

Posted: Updated:
Michelle Hice By Andrew Michalscheck Michelle Hice By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office arrested an accountant this week for allegedly stealing several thousand dollars from a veterinarian clinic and a church in the West Valley.

According to MCSO, Michelle Hice had been taking care of the Buckeye Veterinarian Clinic’s daily accounting, payroll and bills through a third party accounting firm.

In October of last year, the IRS contacted the clinic for non-payment of taxes. Buckeye Veterinarian Clinic responded by turning over information to MCSO indicating that Hice had taken more than $130,000 by writing unauthorized checks to herself.

MCSO said a subpoena of Hice’s banks statements revealed that she had also been depositing checks from a Goodyear church, and possibly other businesses across the Valley.

On Wednesday, MCSO detectives contacted the church and found that they had hired Hice to handle their accounting in October 2012, after she had been fired by the accounting firm.

Detectives went on to discover that Hice had written checks totaling nearly $15,000.

Hice was subsequently arrested on Wednesday, which also happened to be her 39th birthday.

Hice, who is on probation for similar crimes in 2006, was found to be in possession of two stolen credit cards and a .45 caliber handgun at the time of her arrest.

She has been charged with multiple crimes, including theft, forgery, and misconduct involving weapons.