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Ex-Bend bookkeeper enters pleas on theft charges


The former bookkeeper for a Bend painting company, arrested last December on charges of stealing nearly $200,000 from the business, pleaded not guilty to the 15 charges she faces Friday as a judge set her trial for next June.

Gretchen Marie Miller, 33, was indicted in July on 15 counts, including two counts of first-degree aggravated theft and several charges of theft, forgery and falsifying business records.

Miller entered the pleas before Deschutes County Circuit Judge Stephen Forte, who scheduled a two-week trial to begin next June 4 and a trial readiness hearing for May 30, court records showed.

Police had responded early last December to a report of a theft from Bend Painting, located on Boyd Acres Road. Police said company managers suspected Miller had taken several thousands of dollars over a four-year period.

A new office manager had been directed to look for discrepancies over the time Miller was there. An investigation found that more than $189,000 was missing from the company, taken in various ways, such as hiding multiple transfers to her personal and credit card accounts, police said. A search warrant was served at her southeast Bend home.

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