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Santa Rosa bookkeeper accused of bilking 3rd customer

A Santa Rosa bookkeeper accused of stealing from two clients is suspected of bilking a third out of $102,000 over four years, Petaluma police said Monday.

Charity D. Howder, 36, will face additional charges of embezzlement in court Tuesday as well as forgery and fiduciary elder abuse, Sonoma County District Attorney's Office officials said.

Howder ran the bookkeeping business G&C Financial and worked for clients throughout the county, Police Lt. Tim Lyons said.

In the most recent case, Howder is suspected of stealing from Andreoli's Towing in Cotati from January 2007 to December 2011, Lyons said.

She already was charged with stealing more than $262,000 from two clients, Project Management Practice Inc. of Petaluma and the family law practice of Charlotte Creaghan in Rohnert Park, police said.

In those cases, detectives found unauthorized expenditures starting in 2005 in small amounts and increasing to $2,000 and $4,000 before she stopped doing the books for both companies in September 2011, Lyons said. That's when her schemes were discovered and the companies confronted her, he said.

Detectives alerted the towing company after finding documents mentioning the company, Lyons said.

Andreoli's Towing has been run by the Andreoli family for 50 years, a company representative said.

Lyons said the fiduciary elder abuse charge came about because the towing company's owner is 77 years old.

Howder has remained in custody since her Sept. 6 arrest. Her bail Monday was $130,000, according to jail records.


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