ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A subcontractor and a former employee of an international quilting company in Pensacola were charged with fraud after allegedly charging the company credit card $100,000, stealing products and selling them elsewhere, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

James Chad Lambeth, 48, was charged with stolen property, illegal use of credit cards, fraud-imperson, swindling and larceny. Traci Lee-Ann Schwalier, 47, was charged with swindling, larceny and stolen property.

On Oct. 11, 2022, deputies responded to Martelli Enterprises in reference to grand theft. Upon arrival, deputies said they spoke with the company’s chief administrative officer, who said two previous employees had charged the company credit card without permission and “possibly stole products and were selling them elsewhere.”

The CAO said the company hired a sub-contractor, Lambeth, and an internal employee, Schwailer, who were in a relationship and living together. According to the arrest report, Lambeth had been working for the company approximately four to five years and Schwailer had been working on and off for 20 years. The CAO said upon their accounting department conducting an audit, it was discovered that the company American Express credit card was making payments to a PayPal account allegedly created under Lambeth’s business. The CAO said there was approximately $100,000 in unauthorized charges to the PayPal account.

According to the CAO, the owner of Martelli Enterprises received an email from a competitor, “letting her know that Schwailer sent an email attempting to sell saws at a lower price.”

Deputies submitted a subpoena for the American Express card number and received five different accounts from PayPal.

When reviewing the PayPal account, deputies said the five different accounts were under Aaron Kolodziejczak, Marsha Martelli, two under John Martelli and one under James Lambeth. While reviewing the PayPal accounts, each account had the same information as Lambeth’s.

According to the arrest report, the account has several unauthorized transactions, with a total of $11,545, in 2020, $71,880 in 2021 and $18,575 in 2022. There is a total of 60 separate transactions, with all of the unauthorized charges being sent by Lambeth to Schwalier.

Deputies said they talked with the owners of the business, who said they found out about the unauthorized charges from Lambeth’s nephew, who was also employed by Martelli Enterprises. One of the owners said the nephew was terminated due to him showing up to work “out of control and not in the right state of mind.” The owner said six weeks after the altercation, the nephew called her to apologize and tell her that Lambeth has been stealing $100,000 from Martelli but did not want to talk about it over the phone. The owner said the nephew never provided proof.

Along with the stolen money, Lambeth allegedly also stole rotary blades that are used to cut fabric, according to the arrest report. According to one of the owners, Lambeth was in charge of ordering the blades. The owners said they would provide the American Express cards to Lambeth to make the orders, “however, would take the card right back after the order was placed.”

After learning about the alleged stolen blades, deputies executed a search warrant at Lambert’s address. According to the arrest report, Lambeth asked deputies before they “tore up his house,” he could tell them where the Martelli items were, but that he “purchased them and had proof.” According to the arrest report, Lambeth also told deputies Martelli was already refunded all of the money from American Express, even though they did not mention the money taken. During the search warrant deputies said they found “a large quantity” of Martelli Enterprises property and a client list was also located in Schwalier and Lambeth’s office at their house.

“Martelli Enterprises provided evidence that Traci Schwalier had sent an email in an attempt to sell Martelli Enterprises’ blades at a lower cost to one of Martelli’s clients,” the arrest report said. “Through their involvement, both Traci Schwalier and James Lambeth obtained at least $146,035.72 in property and funds for their personal benefit.”

According to Martelli’s, Schwalier was no longer employed due to her quitting, and the last time they heard from Lambeth was when he told the company he would provide the documents to back up his reason for the PayPal charges, “however, never came back to the office to explain.”

Lambeth was booked into the Escambia County Jail on a $115,000 bond, and Schwalier was booked on a $95,000 bond.