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Employee accused of embezzling thousands from Tri-Cities company using 4 credit cards

Tri-City Herald
A 32-year-old Pasco woman is accused of making hundreds of charges for personal items on her employer’s credit cards.

Franklin County detectives say Maria Gallegos stole at least $42,200 by using company credit cards to make more than 300 online orders and buy property in Caldwell, Idaho.

Modern AG Products claims her embezzlement reached as high as $250,000 for more than a 1,000 transactions, according to court documents. The Eastern Washington business provides fertilizer to Columbia Basin farmers and gardeners.

Gallegos is charged with first-degree theft and four counts of first-degree identity theft in Franklin County Superior Court.

Prosecutors say her crimes include the aggravating factors of being a major economic offense and that she used her position of trust to steal the money.

She has been released from the Franklin County jail on $25,000 bond pending trial.

Prosecutors allege the thefts took place for a little more than a year between July 2022 and November 2023.

The court documents don’t say what Gallegos’ specific position was with the company but she was able to get the numbers of four company credit cards.

Investigators allege she used those cards to make nine payments to buy the Idaho land, made 235 orders through Amazon and used PayPal for 41 charges.

After discovering the thefts, her bosses met with her on Dec. 8, 2023.

When they raised concerns about the multiple charges that included rent and childcare, Gallegos allegedly answered, “OK.”

When she was asked if she knew what they were talking about, she said, “Kind of. Not really.”

At the meeting they accused her of taking nearly $260,000.

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