From the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana:

Teri Anne Bell, a Columbia Falls resident, admitted to embezzling approximately $159,000 from a Kalispell firearm manufacturing company. U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich announced that Bell, 58, who managed finances for Falkor SID Inc., pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

According to the court

The court, presided over by U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, revealed that Bell could face up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The sentencing is scheduled for October 8, with Bell currently released pending further proceedings.

From May 2018 to December 2021, Bell exploited her position as finance manager to carry out her scheme. She was entrusted with pre-signed checks and had access to the company's bank account and accounting software. Bell's fraudulent activities came to light in the fall of 2021 when Falkor’s owners grew suspicious and initiated a financial audit. The audit uncovered 45 unauthorized transactions, amounting to $159,131.

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Bell had been writing checks to herself or her creditors and then altering the accounting records to make the payments appear legitimate. The stolen funds were used for various personal expenses, including stays at hotels in Las Vegas and Quinn’s Hot Springs, as well as payments to retail and liquor stores, collection agencies, and streaming services.

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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart