Court date set for former Centerline employee accused of embezzlement

June 16, 2022 | Courts|Featured

NEWKIRK — An initial appearance is set for Janell Marie Zemp, 51, Ponca City, in Kay County District Court.

Zemp is facing a felony count of embezzlement and is accused of embezzling from her former employer, Centerline. Zemp worked as the financial controller.

Ponca City police Det. Sgt. Cory Vincent reports that paperwork in the case shows multiple Amazon orders totaling $4,095.12 charged to the Centerline account by Zemp.

The items purchased were reportedly shipped to Zemp’s home address and consisted of women’s clothing and children’s toys. Police report that there are also multiple checks from Centerline made out to Capitol One.

Police spoke to Centerline Accountant John Kramer.

Janell Marie Zemp

Kramer reportedly said that when he and other company officials confronted Zemp, she reportedly said she had been financing the company on her credit card.

Kramer said she was defiant and clinched her jaw and when asked about an Amazon purchase, she reportedly stated, “Well that is just payback.”

Management reportedly told police that odd things in the accountant process were discovered in 2020. At that time another employee came to Kramer about payments for fear that she would get blamed. Comapny officials report finding a total of $81,000 missing during a six-month period.

On May 4, 2022, police spoke to Centerline president Stephan Engster.

Engster reportedly told police that Zemp worked at the business since 2012 and did not have permission to use the credit cards to purchase items from Amazon. Engster said that when confronted, she claimed she put a lot of money into the company and was paying herself back. Zemp reportedly told company officials that she had a folder with records but lost it. The day she was terminated she reportedly deleted Quickbooks but the company had a back up copy.

Centerline Vice president, Martin Engster, reportedly told police that they found a $5000, check made out to her personal Capital One account and that she tried to hide it under a RCB Bank account. He provided paperwork reportedly showing that Zemp used the company credit card to pay for her vehicle tag and Dish Network services.

Police attempted to contact Zemp for questioning but she referred officers to her attorney Rick Johnson, who reportedly told police she was not going to consent to an interview.

Zemp was arrested and jailed on June 3 and later released on $15,000 bond.