A bookkeeper for Lookout Mountain art dealer Frank Fowler who stole almost $2 million from him is now facing federal bank fraud charges.
Authorities said Francine Labbe has agreed to plead guilty in the case.
Prosecutor said Ms. Labbe embezzled $1,954,083. With interest, the amount owed to Mr.
Fowler was over $2 million.
Mr. Fowler was able to get the return of a number of items purchased by Ms. Labbe with the stolen funds. Those included a BMW, an Infiniti, a Lincoln, 111 items of jewelry, 13 handbags and miscellaneous clothing items and shoes.
There was an auction of personal property of Ms. Labbe at her home on Fairy Trail.
Ms. Labbe had been performing accounting, financial reporting and other administrative duties at the Fowler office on Watauga Lane.
Ms. Labbe, who was paid an annual salary of $72,000, also handled payroll and other business expenses payments.
Mr. Fowler said he discovered on April 24 of last year that Ms. Labbe had, without his knowledge, written checks from himself to herself for large amounts.
She had worked for him for four years.