ST. CLOUD -- A Sauk Rapids woman who is a former employee at a Waite Park car dealership has been sentenced for embezzling money from her employer. Forty-two-year-old Catherine Murray pleaded guilty to five counts of felony theft-by-swindle charges in March. A Stearns County judge sentenced Murray to just over four years in prison and she must pay $409,542.68 in restitution.

Murray was accused of taking more than a half-million dollars from the McKay's dealership between September 2014 and December 2015. She was charged in November 2016 after the missing money was discovered.

According to the criminal complaint, Murray would issue checks to herself and use a signature stamp from her superior to cash those checks. Murray was also accused of keeping customer payments by creating false receipts that the payments had been made.

Investigators say Murray admitted to taking more than $105,000 and giving the money to another person who needed to pay the IRS before receiving their inheritance.

An audit of the company's records showed Murray took nearly $520,000 during that time period.