Woman charged with stealing $300,000 from Odessa company

A woman was arrested Tuesday after she reportedly stole more than $300,000 from an Odessa company.

Sharon Lorraine Whenry, 58, was charged with theft, a first-degree felony, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, a third-degree felony.

Precision Catalyst owner Michael Baughman reported the theft to authorities on March 25, an Ector County Sheriff’s Office affidavit detailed.

Baughman stated Whenry was reportedly taking money from the company checking account and depositing the money into her personal checking account. Whenry served as office administrator for about three years and she was fired on Feb. 6.

An ECSO investigator reviewed the company’s payroll, finance and bank documents, the affidavit stated. A Quick Books Intuit and audit trail detailed that Whenry reportedly created payments to herself, direct deposited them into her personal checking account, deleted the transaction only in the Quick books register then recreated the transaction in Quick Books register under a different vendor or salesman name, which made the transactions look legitimate.

Precision Catalyst details the losses at $301,744.21, the affidavit stated. Whenry reportedly paid herself in unauthorized payroll amounts of $6,871.40. She paid herself $98,362.64 in 2017, $166,567.18 in 2018 and $29,942.99 in 2019. Bank documents show the transfer of funds from the company checking account to her personal checking account.

ECSO investigation showed Whenry reportedly used a remote computer to log onto her work computer and make transactions. She reportedly was still in the company’s computer system on April 16 when it showed she deleted 51 XLSX, PDF documents, folders and other finance documents from Precision Catalyst business software. The loss of these documents would have reportedly shut down the company.

Whenry was arrested, charged and transported to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center. She had two bonds totaling $65,000 and she posted bail on Tuesday, jail records show.