Manager faces more charges of theft
August 5, 2017
MARATHON — A 34-year-old office manager accused of stealing more than $80,000 from Marathon Garbage Service Inc. during the last five months who was arrested last week is facing more charges, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Michelle Ludwig, of Marathon, was initially charged with 69 counts each of grand theft, forgery and fraud after turning herself in. She now faces 42 more counts of grand theft, forgery and uttering a forged instrument.
Ludwig did payroll for the company and is accused of writing checks to herself over and above her normal paychecks and using the scanned electronic signature of the owner to sign the checks, reports say.
Detectives allege she cashed the 69 checks, totaling $83,443 on a weekly basis since February.
Detective Rosary Ponce continued with her investigation and discovered 42 additional checks forged and cashed by Ludwig, reports say. The additional charges were filed on Wednesday, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The company’s accountant told Ponce she had been asking Ludwig for company records for two months and finally received the records on July 17. She said after reviewing the records, she noticed discrepancies. When she confronted Ludwig with the issues, Ludwig reportedly admitted to stealing the money.
Ludwig told the accountant she had a drug addiction and was using the stolen money to finance it, according to the Sheriff’s Office. After admitting the theft to the accountant, she went to the company’s president, Ronald Konrath, and told him what she had been doing, reports say.
She told Konrath she had been forging his father’s signature on the checks and said she wanted to repay the money, reports say. At that point, Konrath notified the Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is continuing.
Information in the Crime Report is obtained from reports provided by area law enforcement agencies.
If you have information that could help solve a crime in the Florida Keys, call Crime Stoppers, 800-346-TIPS.