stock photo © Carterse
Charges have been filed against a Tennessee hunter/jumper trainer that is accused of stealing funds from the Hendersonville horse farm that employed her. Julia Hill is charged with five counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, three counts of forgery, theft, and being a fugitive from justice.
“She needs to be run out of the horse industry,” says Martha Walters, who works at Fox Creek Stables, the farm that Hill allegedly scammed for thousands before being fired. “She’s all about ripping people off.”
Hill is wanted in California on a warrant for larceny. Orange County is seeking extradition. It will have to wait until Sumner County’s case is disposed of.
Fox Creek Stables’ owner Stephanie Martin says she did not do the proper due diligence, including a background check, before hiring Hill. “Her resume was a complete farce.”
Hill also used the assumed name, Julianna Johnson. A $35 pre-employment background check, utilizing Hill’s social security number would have revealed the trainer’s true identity. It likely would have discovered her criminal background as well.
Hill was arrested last month after Martin went to authorities. The police report states Hill wrote a check to herself in December for $4,000, although she was only allowed to reimburse herself $250.97 for out of pocket expenses. When Martin confronted Hill, the trainer allegedly confessed, apologized, and promised to pay Martin back.
In January, Hill allegedly siphoned funds again. Documents state from December 2014 through March 2015, Hill wrote herself more than $6500 in checks, when she was due just over $1100 in reimbursements.
Hill allegedly began utilizing Martin’s credit card fraudulently starting in February. She allegedly had unauthorized orders shipped directly to her home address.
After her arrest, Hill told authorities “this is all just a big misunderstanding,” according to the police report.
Martin isn’t alone when it comes to being a victim of employee theft. The FBI reports it is the fastest growing crime in the United States.
Hill has allegedly committed similar crimes in other states. Walters adds, “its mind boggling what she has done. We work hard and try to have a fun place for the kids to ride. It shouldn’t be like this.”
According to authorities, Hill allegedly stole $30,000 from another victim. The funds were allegedly paid off by Hill’s parents so she wouldn’t be prosecuted.
Hill remains in jail. She is being held without bond on the fugitive from justice charge and on $200,000 bond for the other charges. She is scheduled to be back in court on July 2.
“Hopefully we’ll be the last barn that she shows up and does this too,” Martin says.
And while the clients’ pocketbooks weren’t affected, Martin says she is changing the way she will hire farm employees in the future. “We will definitely be doing background checks.”