LOS ANGELES, SEPT. 19 -- Two bookkeepers facing grand theft and forgery charges in the embezzlement of more than $1 million from trainer Charlie Whittingham are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 4.
Sally Ann Stubblefield, 54, a former Whittingham employee who lives in Texas, was being held on $350,000 bail after surrendering to police today in Sierra Madre, a Los Angeles suburb. She faces nine counts of forgery and one count of grand theft by embezzlement.
Janice Karen Walters, 32, Whittingham's current bookkeeper, was released on her own recognizance after turning herself in. She faces three counts of grand theft by embezzlement. Prosecutors said they did not believe the women were working together.
Stubblefield is charged with taking $1 million from Whittingham over a five-year period beginning in 1985 until the alleged thefts were discovered earlier this year, Deputy District Attorney Don Tamura said. She is accused of forging more than 500 checks in the names of former employees of Whittingham and depositing them into her bank account.
Walters is accused of embezzling $31,000 over a five-month period by doctoring payroll forms so that unauthorized bonuses were paid to her, Tamura said.
Peggy Whittingham, wife of the 77-year-old trainer, said she and her husband were shocked to learn of the alleged embezzlements.
"I'm very upset about the whole thing," she said. "We're very trusting, both of us, and we never expected that of people we're very close to."