The Sideshow

Birthday party leads to embezzlement charges for Florida woman

A fist full of hundreds (Thinkstock)A fist full of hundreds (Thinkstock)

Throwing a birthday party for your boss is usually a good idea. Unless, of course, you're accused of embezzling from the company and the party leads the boss to question your accounting practices, perform an audit and contact law enforcement.

In that instance, the party might have been a mistake.

According to the Sun Sentinel, such is the strange case of Ruth C. Amen, the (now former) office manager for a Florida real estate company in Boca Grande.

The Sentinel cites a news release from the Lee County Sheriff's Office on how the former bookkeeper was caught. Amen, who had been the office manager for Gulf to Bay Realty for over 10 years, was solely responsible for keeping track of the company's finances, including payroll and billing. After the surprise birthday party, which Amen organized without permission from the higher-ups, company leaders examined the books more closely.

[Related: Five jailed in U.K. for inventing movie in tax scam]

All told, Amen is alleged to have embezzled $181,674. Of that, $92,000 was used to pay off her personal credit cards, and $65,000 went toward "extra paychecks." She has been charged with grand theft and scheme to defraud. Both are first-degree felonies.