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Woman faces charges in theft from firm
More than $241K reportedly taken
samples sharon

A former accountant for a prominent Cumming law firm has been charged with taking more than $241,000 from the company over a two-year span.

Sharon Lynne Samples, 48, of Echols Road was arrested July 31 and charged with three counts of theft by taking.

She was released from the Forsyth County Detention Center the same day after posting $60,362 bond, a jail spokeswoman said.

According to a Cumming Police report, Samples allegedly took $241,722 between February 2008 and August 2010 from the law firm of Lipscomb, Johnson, Sleister, Dailey and Smith.

"Sharon Samples was the firm’s accountant at the time of the thefts and was responsible for paying the firm’s bills as well as payroll," the report shows.

The discovery was made through a forensic audit conducted by an accounting firm after staff realized money was missing.

The report goes on to say that the accounting firm produced a report showing Samples wrote checks from the law firm’s account to pay personal bills.

She also reportedly paid herself twice, used checks made out to the firm’s creditors to pay her own personal debts and electronically paid personal bills from the law firm’s account.

According to the report, attorney Emory Lipscomb told investigators the transactions were not authorized by any of the firm’s partners.

"Lipscomb further stated that when confronted about the thefts, Samples admitted to them and agreed to pay the firm back the money that she had taken from them," the report shows. "Samples then disputed the amounts discovered by the accounting firm which completed the audit."

Attempts to reach the law firm and Samples for comment were not successful.