Fallon woman booked for embezzling from auto mall

Debra Clendenning

Debra Clendenning

A 56-year-old Fallon woman turned herself in Thursday to the Churchill County Jail on embezzlement charges.

Debra Lynn Clendenning faces 11 felony counts after the Fallon Police Department unraveled an embezzlement scheme, which netted more than $190,000 from the Fallon Auto Mall.

According to Fallon Police Capt. Vern Ulrich, Clendenning’s actions were discovered after auditors became suspicious and reported their findings to the police. The investigation was approximately four months in duration and led by FPD Detective Jerry Edwards, Ulrich said.

According to court records, Clendenning’s alleged embezzlement began in 2011 and ended in July. After the investigation, police notified Clendenning of an active warrant issued in Justice Court, and she turned herself in. She remains in custody on $55,000 bond and will appear today in Justice Court for an arraignment.

Clendenning, who worked as a bookkeeper for the auto mall according to court documents, faces five counts of embezzlement with a value between $650-$3,500 and six counts of embezzlement with a value of $3,500 or more.

According to the criminal complaint, Clendenning’s actions allegedly began Nov. 2, 2011, with $1,000. She then allegedly stole another $2,500 in three smaller amounts between Dec. 1, 2011, and March 12, 2012.

Her first big score, according to court records, was a total of $22,109.64 between November 2011 and April 2012. In June 2012, Clendenning is suspected of swiping another $800.

The final five counts of the criminal complaint allege she stole $35,924.51 between May 1, 2012, through October 2012; $37,858.87 from Nov. 1, 2012, through April 2013; $41,826.67 between May 1, 2013, and October 2013; $34,121.01 from Nov. 1, 2013, until April; and $16,352.22 from May through July.

Ulrich said the investigation detailed the past four years of Clendenning’s employment at the auto mall. Ulrich said it may be likely Clendenning’s actions began prior to 2011, although statute of limitations prevent prosecution for those specific crimes after four years.

This is the second massive embezzlement scheme discovered by Fallon police in the past two years. Linda Hendrickson was convicted and sentenced up to 18 years in prison after the former director of the Churchill County Senior Center stole more than $350,000 from the center.


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