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Woman Accused of Stealing Money from Rock Record Label

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

FLATIRON DISTRICT — A Manhattan-based record label representing rock bands Megadeath, Korn and Slipknot accused a former payroll manager of lifting some heavy metal from the company's accounts.

Sharanda Houser, 35, pleaded not guilty Friday to stealing more than $400,000 over a six-year period from Roadrunner Records at 902 Broadway, in the Flatiron district.

The company — which also represents Nickleback and the Steve Miller Band — accused Houser of making false expense reimbursements for executives and then having the money wired into a savings account.

Houser used the money to pay off credit card bills and to pay the mortgage on her New Jersey home, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's office said.

She allegedly made a total of 130 deposits ranging between $1,600 and $6,000 between May 2004 and August 2010, according to the District Attorney’s office.

The discrepancy was found by employees after Houser was fired in August 2010 for filing for unemployment benefits while still employed at the company, prosecutors said.

Houser was convicted in 1999 for embezzlement in Virginia, prosecutors said. She got probation, which she served until 2003.

Her lawyer, Montell Figgins, said prosecutors may be exaggerating the amount of money she allegedly stole.

He said there are often financial discrepancies at record labels and that Houser may be getting blamed for money lost in other ways.

She is facing charges of grand larceny in the second degree and falsifying business records in the first degree. If convicted on the top charge she faces up to 15 years in state prison.

Houser is being held on a $25,000 cash bail and a $250,000 bond.