Burnsville woman convicted of embezzling nearly $300,000

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Burnsville woman was sentenced to 70-months in prison for embezzling nearly $300,000 from her employer, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Laura Lee Scholz, 48, of Burnsville, was convicted of embezzlement by a jury. The County Attorney’s Office sought an upward departure from sentencing guidelines of 51 months. Judge Bransford sentenced her to a 70-month prison commitment.

“Ms. Scholz became her employer’s head bookkeeper in August of 2011 and almost immediately began taking advantage of her position by embezzling money from the business,” said Freeman. “She perpetuated this scheme for close two years and stole nearly $300,000 before being caught.”

According to the criminal complaint, Scholz began working at Service Quality Institute, located in Bloomington, in 2007. When she became the head bookkeeper in August 2011, Scholz started writing and cashing unauthorized checks; cashing checks from customers that were made out to the business; and making unauthorized cash withdrawals from her employer’s bank accounts.

On or about July 3, 2013, Scholz’s employer became aware of a large amount of funds coming into the business’s bank account through a wire transfer. On or about July 9, 2013, Scholz was asked about the funds, but did not give an adequate response. An internal audit was conducted and revealed that Scholz had stolen close to $300,000 from August 2011-July 2013.

Scholz was taken into custody immediately at the sentencing hearing.

Criminal complaint (PDF)