McMinnville woman arrested on forgery, theft charges; embezzlement alleged
A McMinnville woman was arrested Tuesday by the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office on forgery and theft charges that allege she embezzled more than $40,000 from her former employer, Southern Cross Aviation of Yamhill.
Detective Don Stackpole identified her as Renee Willkomm Ireland, 43, of 2030 N.W. St. Andrews Drive. She was taken into custody at her boyfriend's house where she has been staying, according to the detective.
A warrant issued last week for Ireland's arrest charged her with eight counts of identity theft, five counts of first-degree forgery, four counts of aggravated first-degree theft and two counts of first-degree theft. They are all felony charges.
She is lodged locally in jail on $100,000 bail pending arraignment at 1:20 p.m. today in circuit court.
"She was an office manager," Stackpole said. "She was terminated last February, but that was not related to this case. Following her termination, all of this came to light and the company contacted the sheriff's office."
He said he has been working the case since last April. Stackpole said Ireland wrote checks to herself on the company's bank account without the knowledge of the owners.
A Southern Cross employee declined to comment on the case.
Southern Cross contracts with airplane manufacturers and provides test flight pilots in addition to ferrying aircraft to buyers worldwide.
The business delivered its first aircraft in 1976, a single-engine Cessna from California to Australia, according to its website. Since the early days of ferrying small aircraft to Australia, Southern Cross has expanded into a worldwide aircraft delivery company, having delivered aircraft to more than 100 countries on all six continents.
Southern Cross consists of two companies, the one located in Yamhill and another in the Netherlands. Both companies deliver more than 150 aircraft and test fly more than 100 annually.
Ireland will return to court at 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10.