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Antioch woman acccused of charging $10K to Hospira

Updated: February 2, 2013 2:20AM

LAKE FOREST — An Antioch woman has a Thursday court date after she was charged with felony counts of theft and unlawful use of credit card for purchasing more than $10,000 in personal items using a business credit card issued by Hospira Corp.

Michelle Helt, 45, of 22031 W. Cedar Drive, was charged with Class 2 felony unlawful use of credit card and Class 3 felony theft for unauthorized purchases she allegedly made on-line and in-person between May 5, 2011 and Nov. 11, 2011.

Bond was set at $25,000. She was taken into custody Nov. 25.

Helt was terminated from her position as an administrative assistant at Hospira on Nov. 4, 2011, but continued to use the credit card she had been issued by the company to purchase office supplies, Lake Forest Police Deputy Chief Karl Walldorf said.

Hospira officials contacted Lake Forest police Jan. 25, 2012, to report the thefts that were discovered on itemized receipts collated by an outside firm, Walldorf said.

Many of the items were purchased from and and shipped to Helt’s home address, Walldorf said.

“There were also quite a few for gas at various gas stations, grocery stores and restaurant purchases,” Walldorf said.

Financial fraud is not uncommon, Walldorf said.

“This is not unusual in any town that has businesses both large and small,” he said.

Lake Forest has had similar financial fraud cases, but the employer does not always want to press charges, Walldorf said.

“Sometimes the employee pays them back,” Walldorf noted.

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