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      Brownsville loan company manager accused in embezzlement case

      Tomas Gutierrez

      During the tough economic times, many are watching every dollar in, and every dollar out, closely.

      That's what happened at Dollar Finance located at 9th Street and Washington Street.

      Cameron County District Attorney First Executive Assistant Sam Smith said that when the numbers weren't adding up, the owners got suspicious.

      "Once they noticed that the cash-flow wasn TMt up to the normal expectations of the business, they sent an auditor in, Smith said.

      Smith said the audits revealed that about $100,000 were missing. When the DA TMs special operations team went in to investigate the case, Smith said, it led them to one of the employees, Tomas Gutierrez.

      "We approached this employee, who was the supervisor there, and subsequently he confessed to it," Smith said.

      Smith said Gutierrez had been making-out fake loans and profiting from car repossessions. Gutierrez allegedly had been scamming the loan company for about four years.

      Smith said the money has not been recovered but said there are ways small business owners can prevent this from happening to them.

      "Not only hiring qualified people (can help), but also setting-up systems in their business to check the cash-flow and all the paperwork, Smith said.

      Smith said Gutierrez confessed to having used the money for his own personal benefit, but didn TMt reveal how that money was spent.

      Gutierrez faces a third-degree felony punishable with up to 10 years in prison.