MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The former controller of the Town and Country Club pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from the 130-year-old St. Paul institution.

Fifty-three-year-old Julie Ann Lee, of Farmington, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In August, the former club employee was indicted on several counts of wire fraud and filing false tax returns. Authorities say that from 2008 to 2016, Lee used her control of the institution’s finances to steal thousands of dollars at a time.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Lee used the money to travel, purchase home improvements and buy several vehicles, including a Dodge Charger, a GMC pickup truck, a motorcycle, and a recreational vehicle.

According to her guilty plea, Lee issued herself more than 50 checks, totaling about $163,357 directly from the club’s account. She also stole about $250,000 in cash, and paid off her credit cards with nearly $765,000 in club money.

To cover her tracks, Lee took advances on the club’s line of credit from a bank.

As a result, the Town and Country Club wasn’t able to cover payments to the IRS and was left with more than $300,000 in interest and penalties.

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