MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Two Bartlett grandparents were swindled out of nearly $100,000 from their retirement fund.
The woman who was charged with stealing from them is a former employee, a woman they thought of as family.
For months, Scott and Marcia Marshall worked with Memphis Police, building a case against their former employee Mattie Pearson.
“We were struggling to make payroll and I can remember her being so sympathetic that we were having a hard time financially,” said Marshall.
Pearson worked for the Marshalls collecting rent money from about 90 tenants, but the couple told WREG for nearly two years, Pearson pocketed thousands of dollars.
Nobody noticed because the Marshalls were busy taking care of their other businesses and they trusted Pearson who told them many tenants were not paying rent.
But the Marshalls said they then meet with those tenants who had receipts signed by Pearson showing they did pay.
The victims said there was never a paper trail because Pearson told all their tenants she could only collect rent payments in cash.
“I was hoping to make retirement,” said Marshall.
A good chunk of the couple’s retirement savings went towards investing in those rental properties.
“We were very crushed when that happened. More than being stolen from, it was like losing your friend,” said Marshall.
The Marshalls didn't think they would ever their money back, but they were thankful investigators put the pieces together.
“I hope that she doesn't have the opportunity to deceive anyone else and do the same thing to them that she did to us,” said Marcia Marshall.
Pearson was just arrested Tuesday for theft.
The Marshalls told WREG, they fired Pearson last October.