Police: Woman stole nearly $250,000 from employer to fuel gambling habit

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Updated Friday, May 17 at 10:03 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Bridgeton police say an office manager stole $243,000 from her employer to gamble at the casino.

Janet Hopkins, 62, of House Springs, was arrested and charged with stealing.

Authorities say Hopkins issued payroll checks to herself at Machine Center, Inc. over the last three years.

Police documents state that Hopkins confessed to taking money for a gambling habit. She told police in 2012 and 2013 she lost $62,000 at the Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights.

Melodye Harris-Juelfs, a licensed counselor, said addicted gamblers often turn to stealing.

"Their intentions are they're going to win it back and pay it back before anybody finds out," said Harris-Juelfs. "All they have to do is get that one big win."

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