by Kim Powell
MIDLAND - Neighbors in the 3700 block of South County Road 1184 said they never really got to know Margo McKinney but were shocked to find out she's facing time in federal prison for embezzling more than a million dollars.
The neighbors NewsWest 9 spoke with did not want to be on camera but said her home has been an eyesore for years and that McKinney has always had a lot of horses and dogs. According to documents, she used the money she embezzled to train horses for competition.
Sources say that she worked as the bookkeeper at Loyd's Transmission in Odessa where she had the authority to one business account for payroll checks and other routine business expenses. However, according to court documents, she illegally wired money from the owner's accounts, forged his signature and wrote checks for herself to pay for personal items.
Documents say she spent $340,490 on horse boarding and training, $105,430 on horse association and membership fees and more than $23,000 on feed and hay.
Neighbors told NewsWest 9 they often saw big trailers and hay in front of her house but always wondered where she got the money. In her plea agreement, she admitted to telling others she got her money from online gambling.
In addition to using the embezzled money on horse training, McKinney also told the court that she used more than $35,000 to pay her mortgage and another $35,000 on jewelry.