Auto dealer bookkeeper accused of embezzling more than $375,000

William Patrick Cleary is accused of embezzling more than $350,000 from Ambassador Auto Sales on Davis Boulevard in East Naples.

Lee County Sheriff's Office

William Patrick Cleary is accused of embezzling more than $350,000 from Ambassador Auto Sales on Davis Boulevard in East Naples.

The former bookkeeper for an auto dealership in East Naples is charged with embezzling more than $375,000 from the business.

William Patrick Cleary, 60, was arrested Wednesday morning in Lee County on a Collier County warrant charging him with one count of grand theft over $100,000. The charge is a first-degree felony.

Cleary was employed as the controller/bookkeeper at Ambassador Auto Sales, 3164 Davis Blvd., in June 2010 when the business owner and office manager discovered Cleary had made numerous unauthorized monetary transfers from the dealership's main operating account, detectives said.

The alleged theft was reported to the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

Further investigation by Collier detectives revealed that from Sept. 21, 2009, to July 2, 2010, Cleary made 155 unauthorized transfers totaling $375,678.10 from Ambassador's main operating account into his two personal bank accounts, detectives said.

Detectives said Cleary has reimbursed $172,000 to the dealership, leaving a loss of $203,678.10.

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