A Lincoln County resident has been sentenced to 120 days in jail and four years of probation after she pleaded guilty to felony grand theft in March for stealing from her company’s bank accounts.
Charlotte J. Sheppard’s sentence began on Friday. Her insurance producer license has also been permanently revoked.
Sheppard, 43, was discovered stealing from Farmers Insurance Agency in the Wood River Valley, where she was employed, after funds were noticed missing from one the agency’s bank accounts that temporarily pays insurance premiums for certain policies while customers’ checks are being processed.
The agency’s owner, Redgy J. Christensen, took note of the discrepancies in May 2018, finding $3,700 of insurance bills paid from the company’s bank account with no corresponding checks from clients.
At least six clients, all either family members or friends of Sheppard, had their insurance bills paid through the account, without delivering checks.
“This is one of the most egregious cases I have ever seen,” Idaho Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron said in a press release regarding the revocation of Sheppard’s license in March. “Most agents do an excellent job caring for their clients, having their best interests at heart. Ms. Sheppard is an unfortunate exception, putting her financial needs ahead of her clients.”
After the discrepancies were uncovered, Sheppard was put on administrative leave and was ultimately fired on May 22, 2018. During her exit interview with Christensen, she admitted to her actions, allegedly telling Christensen that she has always taken care of her children. At least three of the insurance accounts paid belonged to her daughter and two of her children’s fiancés, according to Christensen.
During a sentencing hearing May 22 in Blaine County 5th District Court, in addition to the jail time and probation, Sheppard was ordered to pay $3,744 in restitution to Christensen for the money she stole.