A woman arrested for allegedly embezzling $500,000 from her employer in Escondido, pleaded not guilty in court on Friday.
Prosecutors say Sheila Jo Jackson, 46, was stealing the money from Betz Concrete to fuel a gambling addiction.
She faces several felony charges including embezzlement by employee, forgery, grand theft and identity theft.
Prosecutors say Jackson's employer told her to close the company's Bank of America account back in 2012, but she secretively kept them open, using her position as office manager to have continued access to them.
Jackson would deposit money collected from customers into that account, later writing out checks to herself.
According to prosecutors, Jackson forged signatures on 279 checks under the owner's name, embezzling more than $572,000.
"Its just unfortunate when a small family owned business, the owner who was on site and trying to grow his business," said Deputy District Attorney Anna Winn.
In November, a bank employee noticed the suspicious signatures and contacted the owner.
Escondido police reached out to local casinos and found a player's card registered under Jackson's name. The car had been frequently used over the span of five years, indicated that she had been at slot machines where more than $1,000,000 was played.
Jackson is currently being held on a bail of $1.1 million, according to Escondido Police.