A former bookkeeper for KOBI’s parent company is suspected of stealing more than $500,000, then allegedly embezzling additional funds from her elderly mother after she resigned from the job in September last year.
Annie Knifong, 48, allegedly embezzled $513,819 from the California Oregon Broadcasting Inc. — which owns local NBC affiliate KOBI NBC 5 — between 2011 and 2017, according to a news release from Medford police. Those funds went into her personal bank account, the release said.
“Detectives determined that Knifong used her position, as well as corporate information from another employee, to complete the theft,” the release said.
Police also discovered $25,000 had been deposited into her bank account after her resignation, the release said. Police allege she used power of attorney for her 88-year-old mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, to deposit those funds, and that she deposited them “for (her) own benefit.”
In a statement provided to the Mail Tribune, COBI president and owner Patricia Smullin said Knifong had been considered a “valued member of our staff.”
“When we became informed last fall that she may have taken COBI funds that did not belong to her, we handed this matter over to the Medford Police Department,” the statement reads. “COBI will have no further comments concerning this matter while it is being handled by the judicial system.”
Knifong was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated first-degree theft, identity theft, laundering a monetary instrument, computer crime and criminal mistreatment. She was booked in the Jackson County Jail, but posted a security deposit on her $52,500 bail.
Knifong does not have any additional criminal history in the state, according to court records. Information on upcoming court dates was not yet available.