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A woman was charged Thursday, April 4, with stealing almost $100,000 from a Homer Glen business over the course of around a year.
Lynda K. Bibian, 32, of Joliet, was charged with theft, identity theft, aggravated identity theft over the age of 60 and two counts of forgery while working for Jimenez Landscaping, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office.
Last November, deputies were called to the Homer Glen landscaping business and spoke to its owners, who reportedly told them at the time they thought Bibian, by then a former employee fired last Oct. 8, had fraudulently used a company credit card for her personal use and also wrote several unauthorized checks.
Bibian was first hired in May 2017 as an assistant to the office manager and was given additional responsibilities regarding the company’s finances as time went on, police said.
The owners also told the authorities that they tried to cancel the credit card last October and discovered hundreds of unknown charges had been made with it, according to police. A detailed transaction report found more than 357 itemized charges from October 2017 to October 2018 on the account, with charges exceeding $44,000 from the likes of multiple gas stations, restaurants, rent payments, department store, Amazon, hair and nail salons, airline tickets, Uber rides, limousine services, Ticketmaster and other various businesses.
The owners reportedly said the card was originally issued to one of them, as well as a family member who had worked at the company before they died. The landscaping company initially believed the charges were made by the now-deceased family member, but it is now thought Bibian took over the deceased family member’s identity.
Upon further investigation by Will County Sheriff’s Office detectives, who had worked with the owners, it was also found Bibian fraudulently increased her hourly pay rate more than once, had written thousands of dollars in unauthorized checks to herself and wrote thousands of dollars from the business to pay for personal expenses, such as dermatology and medical bills, police said. Initial reports show those totals exceed $54,000.
An investigation remains ongoing, police added.
On April 4, detectives brought Bibian in for questioning, where she reportedly made statements implicating herself. She likewise acknowledged having a history of committing financial crimes.
Additional charges are expected, police said.
Her bond was set at $75,000.