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Cops: Employee created fake coworker to steal paychecks

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The payroll manager for a Lawrenceville roofing company is facing criminal charges after allegedly creating a fictitious employee and having paychecks deposited into her own account.

Arrest warrants were issued last week charging 37-year-old Summer Payne with theft by deception. Gwinnett County Jail records show she had not been arrested as of Wednesday morning.

According to a Gwinnett County police report, Payne was managing the payroll of Lawrenceville-based Peach State Roofing when, according to her employer, she did not submit more than $100,000 of the company's payroll taxes to the IRS.

Payne was reportedly told she would be let go but was allowed to stay on in order to train her successor.

It was during that time period -- roughly between Jan. 27 and Feb. 10 -- that police believe Payne created a fictional employee named "Pedro Perez" and began collecting additional paychecks into her own bank account.

"Payne provided a fake Social Security number, address, date of birth and phone number for the fake employee," according to a police report. "The paychecks for the employee were then set up for direct deposit into Payne's Bank of America account."

All told, Payne allegedly collected $5,844.35 in fraudulent payments. The issue was brought to light when the roofing company hired a forensic accountant to handle the previous tax gaffe, police said.

Police attempted to locate Payne at her last known address on Williamsburg Way in Winder, but said the residence there was vacant.