She was arrested Wednesday by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the arrest warrant, Rice worked in the accounting department of Marietta-based DEL Development Corp., which manages apartment complexes in the area. She faces allegations of using her position at the company to siphon $737,414 into an account at Regions Bank.
She is accused of forging the signature of her boss, Donald Lippman, on 841 checks over a five-year period, hiding the amounts by coding them as expense items.
“The victim became aware of potential problems in August 2012,” according to Officer P.D. Chesney of the Cobb County Police Department, who signed the warrant before Magistrate Judge Nichole Hair. “However, the true amount and scope of the theft was not discovered until October 2012.”
Rice’s defense attorney, David S. West of Marietta, said his client ceased working at the apartment management company in August. She had worked there several years.
He would not comment on a possible connection between the date of “potential problems” cited in the warrant and Rice’s departure from the company.
“These allegations just materialized out of the blue,” he said.
West said his first priority is getting Rice’s bail lowered at a bond reduction hearing on Feb. 21.
“It’s a ridiculously high bond considering her age, her ties to the community and the fact she has been gainfully employed in a good profession,” he said. “It’s the kind of bond we normally only see in violent cases or one in which an individual has a criminal history.”
West would not say if this is Rice’s first offense.
Rice has not been arraigned yet, but West said she will plead not guilty.
According to the Cobb district attorney’s office, if convicted, Rice could face up to 20 years in prison.