Florida Keys

Keys woman faces 249 charges, accused of forging and cashing $99K worth of checks

Michelle Ludwig
Michelle Ludwig Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

Just over a week after the arrest of a then-Marathon Garbage Service employee charged with stealing more than $80,000 from the trash-hauling business, 42 additional counts of grand theft have been filed.

Michelle Ludwig, 34, has been in the Stock Island jail on $207,000 bond since turning herself in July 24. She was charged with 69 counts each of grand theft, forgery and fraud — all felonies — for a total of 207 charges after police say that from February to July, she forged and cashed 69 checks written to herself, signed with a digital signature she was not given permission to use.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin said following Ludwig’s initial arrest, Detective Rosary Ponce discovered 42 additional checks forged and cashed by Ludwig. Wednesday, she was charged with 42 more counts of grand theft, forgery and uttering a forged instrument.

Herrin said the additional 42 checks were written for a total of $15,396, bringing the total amount allegedly stolen to $99,380.

Additional bond from the latest charges is $63,000 bringing total bond to $270,000, Herrin said. Arraignment was moved from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31, Assistant State Attorney Jon Byrne told the Keynoter.

“We haven’t filed all the charges yet,” he said. “Ultimately, we’ll probably be combining the two cases into one case.”

Byrne said he met with Marathon Garbage owner Ronald Konrath and asked him to look through company records and make sure there is nothing more askew. Ludwig no longer works for the company.

“She may have issued checks to other workers as double pay, like bonuses or what not,” he said.

Arraignment for Ludwig is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 31 before Acting Circuit Court Judge Ruth Becker at the Marathon courthouse.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219