Woman accused of embezzling nearly $300,000 from Ervin Motors in Vinton

Kelly Banghart, 56, of Vinton (Courtesy: Vinton Police Department)
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VINTON, Iowa (KCRG) - A long-time employee of a car dealership in Vinton has been accused of a multi-year embezzlement scheme, according to law enforcement.

Kelly Ann Banghart, 56, of Vinton, was arrested and charged with first-degree theft, a class C felony. She entered a written plea of not guilty on October 2, 2019.

On September 23, someone associated with Ervin Motor Company contacted the Vinton Police Department about unusual transactions in the dealership's checking account. Police determined through investigation that Banghart was the suspect.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Benton County District Court, Banghart admitted to an officer in an interview on September 24 that she had been inappropriately using the business' checking account to funnel money toward online payments on her own credit card accounts. These transactions allegedly took place between May 2015 and August 2019, totaling $295,608.31.

According to Ervin Motors, Banghart is no longer employed there. She had been working there for 24 years.

Banghart was booked at the Benton County Jail on October 3 and released awaiting trial.