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Employee charged with almost a $1 million crime

| Aug 28, 2015 | Embezzlement |

Embezzlement is an unusual crime. Unlike many violent crimes, where hulking figures armed with handguns and automatic weapons preside over drug deal or bank robberies, embezzlement is often a quiet offense, involving the clicking of keys on a keyboard or the soft scratching of a pencil in a ledger.

The offender often fail to match our image of threatening criminals, often they are secretaries, treasurers or accountants, and one cannot imagine Hollywood making a big-budget action movie involving their exploits.

They are often a woman who handles the books or payroll, as is the case of involving a St. Bonaficius woman who has been charged with seven counts of theft by swindle of $35,000. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office noted that the total amount stolen might be nearly $900,000, but some of that money is outside the statue of limitations, which was five years for these charges.

No motivation was described, but she apparently attempted to pay some of the money back to her employer. She is alleged to have used the company’s computer payroll system to increase her salary and she also used a company credit cards for personal expenses.

You can imagine she could have been in need of money and realized given her access, how easy it would be to add some additional income to her paycheck. Then, perhaps she tried it a second time. After that, she may have become addicted to the money or the thrill of obtaining it. Or she many have had another addiction, such as gambling, drugs or another, perhaps failing business, that she needed to supply.

While it may be a low-key crime, the dollar figure of the theft are likely to make the penalties as severe as if she had marched into a bank with a shotgun. This always makes the defense more nuanced, as the prosecution lacks the ability to paint the defendant as a comic book super-villain, as it may attempt in more violent cases

Source:, “Charges: Worker stole $700K from MN employer; spent it on hotels, clothes,” Adam Uren, August 25, 2015