Boss' surprise birthday party leads to employee's arrest on theft charges

The party's over.

A former Florida office manager was arrested Monday after a surprise birthday party she arranged for her boss led investigators to discover that she stole more than $180,000 from the business, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Ruth Amen handled billing and payroll at Gulf to Bay Realty in Boca Grande for more than a decade, and decided to pay for the surprise party without permission.

Gulf to Bay Realty officials and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigated Amen’s financial dealings after the surprise party incident, and found that she embezzled $181,674 from the company, the news release said.

Amen allegedly used $92,000 in company cash to pay off her personal credit card debt, in addition to allegedly issuing herself $65,000 in bonus paychecks.

Amen faces grand theft and scheme to defraud charges, both felonies.