A 32-year-old Billings woman was charged Friday with felony embezzlement after prosecutors said she stole from her employer.
Lisa Luwanna Lee pleaded not guilty to the embezzlement charge, as well as four misdemeanor counts of lying to police. She was released by District Judge Ingrid Gustafson.
According to prosecutors, Lee and another employee at Beartooth Harley-Davidson stole merchandise and cash totaling more than $5,000 from the store. They pawned the merchandise at local pawn shops.
Another employee was in one of the pawn shops and noticed two new helmets for sale that were also sold at Beartooth Harley-Davidson. The employee told managers, who realized that the helmets were missing from their store.
A sheriff’s deputy began looking into the thefts. A manager at the dealership told the deputy that Lee had just been fired for stealing $200 from the cash register.
The deputy found that Lee and the other employee had pawned five helmets, sunglasses, jackets and a diamond necklace at four pawn shops in Billings.
A few days later, the owners of Beartooth Harley were cleaning out a house in Bridger that they had rented to Lee. They found empty boxes for the sunglasses, gloves, an umbrella and other merchandise from the store.
It took a few days to find Lee, but sheriff’s deputies finally found her gathering some of her belongings at a home in Billings. A deputy said Lee admitted to pawning some of the items and told him that she was addicted to morphine, but lied to him about how she got some of the other items.