[Editor's Note: Arrest information is supplied by the Fairfield Police Department. It does not indicate convictions.]
A Stratford woman was charged Monday with embezzling $41,000 from her former employer, the Fairfield-based heating and air-conditioning company Brit-Air.
Police said Gwendolyn Varhalak, 47, of Broadbridge Avenue in Stratford, was charged with first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery following an investigation launched in July.
The owner of Brit-Air reported to police on July 31 that he believed his secretary -- Varhalak -- was embezzling money from the business, department spokesperson Sgt. Sue Lussier said. Varhalak was fired and the new secretary noticed a number of discrepancies with Brit-Air's checks and payroll.
Police began to work with the new secretary and TD Bank to uncover the alleged fraud. Detectives found that between September 2010 and July 2012, Varhalak had allegedly written $41,000 worth of checks and then applied false payments to vendor accounts in the company's accounting system to cover up the thefts, according to the report.
Varhalak was convicted of a similar crime in Bridgeport. According to court records, Varhalak was found guilty on Oct. 19, 2009 of first-degree larceny. The company she worked for at the time reported she embezzled $44,000 in funds, Lussier said.
Fairfield police arrested her on the recent charge on a warrant at her home in Stratford. Varhalak was held in lieu of a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 15.