Bookkeeper Accused of Embezzlement

A Tallahassee woman is behind bars accused of embezzling nearly half a million dollars from the title company where she worked.

Police say not only did she use the money to buy a brand new home, but to add insult to injury she had her colleagues at work do the closing on it.

The Goodwins’ house on Charrington Forest Boulevard is adorned with crepe myrtles and a crimson tide flag. Police say Erica Goodwin paid cash for it back in March, cash she stole on the job.

SGT Bill Bierbaum of the Tallahassee Police Department said, "Unfortunately for them, probably over a six-month period she's taken over $400,000 from them."

Goodwin was a bookkeeper at Affiliated Title Services with authority to transfer funds.

Arrest reports say less than a month after she started working at the firm she started transferring money into her own account: $4,500, 14 grand, $8,500, $45,000, 244 grand, and on and on until just last week for a whopping total of $463,860, and 52 cents. The folks who work at Affiliated title are stunned.

Ron Richmond said, "Yes, she did access various accounts, but insurance is covering all of that. No clients' funds are in jeopardy, no clients deeds are in jeopardy or anything else, no titles to their property, everything is covered."

The title company filed suit against Goodwin Thursday morning in hopes of getting the house and cars back and recovering some of that money.

Neighbors didn't want to go on camera, but they tell us they've noticed a lot of new toys at the Goodwin household, like a brand new screened in porch and a new sports car in the driveway.

Friends say Goodwin concocted a story to explain the sudden bounty: that her grandfather had passed away and left her a large inheritance.

Apparently this isn't Goodwin's first brush with the law. A check of her Leon County rap sheet shows more than a dozen counts of fraud, worthless checks, and identity theft over the past four years. The DOC website shows she was still on probation from her last arrest when she was busted this time.