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Ex-bookkeeper at Albuquerque firm pleads guilty to $2M fraud

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former bookkeeper for an Albuquerque-based auto body firm has pleaded guilty to charges that she defrauded her employer out of $2 million over a seven-year period, authorities said.

According to the plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court of New Mexico, 47-year-old Christina Joyner of Rio Rancho admitted Tuesday that she stole the money from her former employer from July 2014 through September 2021.

Federal prosecutors said Joyner faces up to 20 years in prison when she's sentenced at a later date.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that Joyner worked as a bookkeeper for the auto body firm for 25 years and held information about the firm's bank accounts, credit cards, on-site cash and accounting software.

She was accused of issuing checks to herself and coded them to give the appearance they were for legitimate business expenses.

The newspaper said Joyner also allegedly created fraudulent payroll check stubs for her husband's name and used them as proof of income when applying for loans.