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A Beatrice woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from Penner Insurance Agency appeared in county court on Tuesday.

Nicole L. Nelson, 44, is charged with theft valued at more than $5,000 after it was discrepancies were discovered that date back seven years.

The charge is a class 2A felony.

On Aug. 22 Beatrice police received a call from an investigator for First National of Nebraska, the company that operates Penner Insurance in Beatrice.

According to court documents Nelson, who had been working there since 2012, handled customer payments, bank account relations and the company's books.

In May the records were turned over to INSUR insurance group, which found that Nelson had been receiving payroll advance checks and not paying them back.

Instances were reported from Nov. 4, 2016 through June 7, 2018 and totaled $15,050.

Nelson was interviewed on Aug. 7 by the investigator admitted she made false entries in the books to cover payroll advances. She was terminated and wrote a letter of apology to the company.

Following her termination, INSUR discovered that Penner Insurance's sweep account had a discrepancy of more than $112,000 from January 2012 through 2019. Nelson was in charge of the account since her employment began in 2012.

Officials looked at her bank account, which was received from the bank investigator, and found several cash deposits and numerous transfers to accounts that are believed to have contributed to the discrepancy.

Nelson turned herself in on Sept. 13, and had her first court appearance this week. Her next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 5.

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