A 20-year employee accused of stealing more than $400,000 from a Clintonville flag store pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree-felony theft and one count of tampering with records in Franklin County Common Pleas Court last week.

A 20-year employee accused of stealing more than $400,000 from a Clintonville flag store pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree-felony theft and one count of tampering with records in Franklin County Common Pleas Court last week.

Angel Forsyth, 37, could be sent to prison for 14 years and fined $30,000 when she is sentenced Oct. 19 by Judge Stephen L. McIntosh.

Prosecutors said Forsyth, formerly of King George Avenue in Gahanna, stole an estimated $440,000 from the Flag Lady's Flag Store, 4567 N. High St., from 2007-11. She created dummy invoices and wrote 170 checks to herself, making it appear as if the checks were going to vendors.

The amount originally was estimated at $310,000, but an investigation turned up more records, Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Blake said.

Mary Leavitt, the owner of the store, took out personal loans to keep the business afloat while Forsyth was stealing money, Blake said.

The thefts were discovered in December after another employee noticed a check that was improperly made out to Forsyth.