TEXARKANA, Ark. — A woman accused of embezzling more than $150,000 from a Texarkana law firm where she worked is facing 30 felony charges in Miller County.
Kelley Anne Vasquez, 54, is also accused of threatening to retaliate against the Trammell-Piazza Law Firm if criminally prosecuted, according to a probable cause affidavit. Vasquez allegedly forged checks and fraudulently used a company credit card to bilk her employer beginning in 2012.
The alleged embezzlement was brought to the attention of law enforcement in July 2019 and formal charges were filed against Vasquez by Miller County prosecutors in October.
Vasquez is charged with 16 counts of forgery for allegedly writing checks to herself or to cash in 2017, 2018 and 2019 which totaled more than $38,000. For alleged fraudulent charges on a company credit card, Vasquez has been charged with 14 felonies and two misdemeanors, depending on the amount of the alleged theft.
After being confronted with the alleged misconduct, Vasquez allegedly warned that if the allegations against her were to be publicized by local news media, she would "have to play her hand" and that she would "not be the only one hurt by this."
Each of the 16 counts of forgery pending against Vasquez is punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Five counts of fraudulent use of a credit or debit card are punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Five of the fraud charges are punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Three of the fraud charges are punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
The punishment ranges vary because of differences in the amount of the alleged thefts.
The two misdemeanor fraud charges are each punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a fine up to $2,500. The retaliation charge is punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Vasquez is currently free on a $150,000 bond. She is represented by Texarkana lawyer Tommy Johnson. Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Black is prosecuting. The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Brent Haltom.
The case is currently scheduled for jury selection June 22. The setting could change in light of an Arkansas Supreme Court order suspending jury selections until June 30 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.