"We were hoping that we would find the evidence we were looking for and we did find the evidence we were looking for and that is the missing money orders, and there are other money orders that are missing," said John Kleindeinst with the Harris County DA's office.
With her head held low, Eloise Mireles appeared in court Friday afternoon. Her bond was set at $465,000, double what she is accused of stealing from the district attorney's office.
Before dawn, Eloise and Daniel Mireles woke up to pounding at their door. Police arrested Eloise, who worked as an administrative assistant in the DA's office for 16 years. Since 2001, her job was to keep payment records in a receipt book, then mail restitution payments to crime victims. But she was fired in August after confessing to stealing $1,000.
When investigators probed further, they found 437 stolen checks and money orders. According to court documents, Mireles pocketed more than $230,000.
"It's taken us quite some time to get some documents in to discover the total amount of theft and it's over $232,000," said Kleindeinst.
Before Friday's arrest, investigators say they poured over 10,600 restitution accounts, finding Eloise started stealing checks and money orders from the victims' restitution fund back in 2002.
Police say Eloise Mireles' husband knew about it and helped. A lien has been placed on the couples' southeast Houston home. Their cars and everything they own have been seized by authorities.
The charge against Eloise Mireles carries a range of punishment of 5-99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The charge of theft which was filed against Daniel Mireles is a second degree felony and carries a range of punishment of 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.