Michelle Marie Backowski, 61, Minimal Falls, is scheduled for a jury trial beginning Dec. 13, in Stearns County District Courtroom on a person felony depend of look at forgery and one particular felony depend of theft by swindle.
Backowski is accused of embezzling just about $280,000 from her previous employer in between January 2012 and March 2019.
According to the felony criticism, on April 1, 2019, an investigator with the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office environment began investigating an personnel embezzlement that occurred at Auto Max Revenue and Assistance in Minimal Falls Township. The investigator received the preliminary report from the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office environment and figured out that Backowski experienced allegedly been issuing herself $550 small business checks devoid of authorization every single 7 days considering the fact that close to 2006.
The investigator satisfied with the company operator, who furnished a few years truly worth of financial institution statements from Pine Nation Financial institution. The employer informed regulation enforcement that he “used to have three accounts” with Pine Region Bank, but now only has two. Backowski was named and authorized to sign checks on the two remaining accounts.
The organization owner mentioned while he was likely by way of a divorce, he experienced been issuing checks in the volume of $550 to his wife each and every 7 days right up until the divorce was closing in 2006. He instructed the investigator he discovered that the $550 ongoing to come out of his company account weekly. When he confronted Backowski about it, she claimed the business accountant “told her these payments were being vital to function (the victim’s) interest farm,” in accordance to the legal grievance.
The victim said his passion farm is totally individual from his business enterprise, and that the accountant would not tell her to do that. The investigator afterwards spoke to the accountant, who allegedly confirmed Backowski’s rationalization was bogus.
In reviewing lender statements, the investigator noticed that the checks have been created as “pay to the order” of the defendant or “cash,” and possibly signed by Backowski or stamped with her boss’s signature. He also spoke with various workers of Pine State Bank in Minor Falls, who confirmed that Backowski arrived by the generate-through each Friday to cash checks, in accordance to the complaint.
The investigator also acquired the enterprise financial institution statements from Pine Region Bank courting back again to January 2012. According to the grievance, he noticed weekly checks ended up prepared to Backowski or “cash” in the total of $550. He also noticed several other checks prepared to the defendant that exhibited her signature or the victim’s signature stamp, lots of of which exceeded $300. Many of these experienced “Sam’s,” “Walmart” or “lunches” written in the memo line.
The company owner told the investigator that the small business did occasionally acquire supplies with all those checks, but for nominal amounts. He also said, though Backowski would from time to time purchase lunches for staff members, “that was intended to arrive specifically from the until,” in accordance to the report.
For just one account, according to the criticism, Backowski cashed checks with out permission involving Jan. 4, 2012, and March 15, 2019, that totaled $227,794.07. Although examining lender statements from a further account owned by the enterprise, the investigator observed identical checks. There ended up a total of 30 written to and cashed by Backowski involving April 7, 2012, and March 22, 2018, totaling $9,457.75.
According to the legal grievance, the full sum of checks Backowski wrote to herself without authorization was $237,251.82.
The investigator also gained info from the business’s bookkeeper at the time of the report, who informed him Backowski had been overpaying herself every single week. Her timetable, in accordance to the complaint, was 7 hours for each working day, 5 times a 7 days, from 2012 – 2016. In 2017, she allegedly started working only four times for every 7 days, nevertheless for seven hours.
Regulation enforcement noted in the grievance that she “consistently compensated herself for 40 several hours for each 7 days.” They claimed this resulted in a weekly 5-hour overpayment from January 2012 – December 2016, and 12 several hours for every 7 days from January 2017 – February 2019.
Based on her amount of pay out, the overpayment arrived to a total of $27,758.61, in accordance to the criticism.
In addition, Backowski also allegedly took several holiday vacation days with fork out in the course of her regular perform 7 days, regardless of remaining entitled to only just one 7 days per 12 months. A calendar offered to the investigator by the small business operator indicated she overpaid herself $14,456.23 in trip time from Jan. 1, 2012 – Dec. 31, 2018. That enhanced the whole payroll theft to $42,314.84, in accordance to the criticism.
Backowski entered a plea of not responsible on both equally counts in January.
If convicted, Backowski faces up to 20 several years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000 for each and every unique count.