GOODING — A woman charged with 19 counts of grand theft is headed to district court.
Stephanie Diane Wells, 34, of Jerome appeared Thursday morning in Fifth District Magistrate Court at the Gooding County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing.
Wells was hired by Box Canyon Dairy as chief financial officer and internal accountant in 2012. She voluntarily resigned in January 2019 as the dairy was closing its operation. Wells is charged in Gooding County with 19 counts of grand theft after being accused of embezzling more than $700,000 by writing checks to pay credit card bills and falsifying payments for a loan she had with the company.
During Thursday’s hearing, Wells’ attorney, F. Matthew Stoppello, told Judge Casey Robinson that his client wished to waive the hearing.
Robinson told Wells that by waiving the hearing the state would not have to present evidence to show an offense had been committed. Wells would also not have to admit any guilt.
“Is that your understanding?” Robinson asked.
“Yes,” Wells replied.
Robinson set a hearing at the district court level for July 9, at which time Wells will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Wells and her husband, Dustin Wells, face a civil lawsuit brought by Box Canyon Dairy in Jerome County in an attempt to recover the funds. Dustin Wells filed a bankruptcy petition on May 17.