PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Thousands of dollars of money that was supposed to go to benefit cancer patients and their families was stolen. Now a Glendale woman who worked for the charity as a finance coordinator is behind bars, accused of taking the money.
The woman is accused of using the money to buy clothing, concert tickets, and inflating her own salary with money that was meant for the cancer patients.
42-year-old Melissa Talal was booked into jail Wednesday. She's accused of spending more than $150,000 in the charity's money on herself.
Talal stayed silent during her initial appearance, but the Arizona Attorney General's Office detailed years worth of spending that landed the bookkeeper in jail.
Talal started working at Cancer Support Community Arizona in 2006, and had exclusive access to the charity's finances. Over a period of five years, investigators with the AG's office claim she used the non-profit's credit card to spend more than $150,000 on personal items. They claim she also paid herself an extra $40,000.
The charity is located near downtown Phoenix and provides support to people fighting cancer and their families.
When the charity began to notice errors and delays in financial reports they launched their own investigation into the bookkeeper and contacted the AG's office.
Talal was booked into jail on charges of theft and fraud, her bond was set at $25,000.