Employee sentenced to prison for stealing $420K+ from Michigan car dealership to gamble

A longtime employee of a Michigan car dealership is headed to prison after stealing hundreds of thousands from the business.

Amanda Root, 42, of St. Johns, was sentenced to 42 months in prison and must pay $459,645.70 in restitution to the victim, the victim’s insurance companies, and the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Root worked at Glenn Buege GMC Buick for many years, overseeing accounts receivable and accounts payable, authorities said. Authorities believe that she embezzled more than $420,000 in cash from the dealership between 2016 and 2019 to gamble.

When the dealership location was closing, Root confessed the embezzlement to three people, admitting to taking at least $250,000 to cover gambling losses. 

Since she did not claim the additional income on her taxes, she was charged with four counts of embezzlement and four counts of filing a false tax return.

She pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of $100,000 or more and two counts of filing false tax returns in April.

Read more stories from around Michigan here.

"This conviction is the result of great collaborative work by our partners at the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Treasury," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. "Family-owned businesses and other small or local interests can be irreparably devastated by embezzlement on this scale from their own trusted employees, and I am grateful to all three departments involved here for helping to secure justice in this significant theft."