[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 03/23/21]
UMATILLA, Florida — A woman who quit her job at a local construction company last year after being accused of theft was picked up on a warrant for the theft and booked and released on bond in less than two hours Friday.
Amanda Leigh Cantarero, 31, is accused of stealing more than $15,000 while working as a payroll clerk for Mason Dixon Contracting, 191 North Central Avenue, Umatilla in 2019 and 2020. According to a probable cause affidavit, Cantarero had the day off in May 2020 and another employee took over her duties and noticed some discrepancies. Three employees who no longer worked for the company were still getting paid, two of them via a Visa card. The company provided that option for employees who were unable to get a bank account, the affidavit states.
While researching the discrepancies, the employee found the three employees had continued to get paid long after they were no longer employed for a total of $15,800. The following day, when Cantarero returned to work, she was confronted about the discrepancies and she became “defensive” and said, “I quit.” She never picked up her last paycheck, the affidavit states.
Umatilla Police Department investigated and obtained copies of emails between Cantarero and the payroll company and found that she requested replacement payroll cards for the three employees in question. UPD also found Cantarero had signed six paychecks as power of attorney for an employee who never showed up to work.
A warrant for Cantarero’s arrest for grand theft was issued Feb. 25.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]