Internet Gambler Steals $500,000


In a real life game of Clue, owners of a family business discover it wasn't Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard or Professor Plum who forced them into bankruptcy, but Ms. Bratcher the bookkeeper.

The mother and son owners of Colorado Welding Supply were forced to declare bankruptcy in 2010 after the Internal Revenue Service contacted them about unpaid employment taxes.

Jo and Eric Younger found themselves deeper and deeper in debt as they dipped into their savings in a desperate attempt to save the business. All the while Christina Michele Bratcher, the bookkeeper was embezzling nearly $500,000 from the company.

Unfortunately the Youngsters discovered it too late when going over the books in preparation for the bankruptcy sale. Bratcher forged her name on more than 200 checks with a number of large payments to Internet gambling sites and personal expenses.

'It's one thing if the economy took you out. You do your best and you move on,' Younger said. 'But when you've had everything you've worked for for 10 years stolen for you, it's pretty staggering.'

The thief may have very well been playing the online game Cluedo while there was a knock at the door. When Bratcher was arrested it's uncertain if she was in the kitchen, ballroom, dining room or study.

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