Maple Grove woman charged with $1 million embezzlement

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Maple Grove woman was charged with embezzling more than $1 million from the medical supply company where she worked, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Stephanie Ranee Davis, 37, was charged last week with 10 counts of theft-by-swindle. She is expected to make her first court appearance March 22. She is accused of stealing $1,091,000 from Feb. 2011 through Dec. 30, 2015, which is within the statute of limitations. An audit by company officials revealed she embezzled about $1.7 million over 10 years.

“This was a sophisticated scheme carried out by a trusted employee,” Freeman said. “Company officials did the right thing by immediately contacting police, who did a solid investigation. We will work to convict her, get her some prison time and push for restitution for the company.”

According to the criminal complaint, Brooklyn Park Police were called to Reliable Medical Supply Co. on Jan. 12 when they discovered two checks that had been paid from the company account but did not show up as payables in the company records. When Reliable Medical’s chief financial officer asked Davis, who had worked as the company’s accounts payable clerk since 2000, about the discrepancy, she admitted she had been forging checks to herself from the company’s business account. She was fired immediately.

Sometime around 2005, Davis started her scheme to steal the money, the complaint states. Davis set up fictitious vendors in Reliable Medical’s payable system with names that were nearly identical to real, approved vendors. The fake vendors could be turned on and off in the payables system.

Davis would make a check payable to herself, but remove it from the batch that the chief executive officer would sign. After the legitimate checks were signed, Davis would forge the CEO’s signature on the check made out to her and then deposit it into her bank account. Meanwhile, the check to Davis would be attributed to one of the fictitious vendors in the accounts payable database and later, she would turn off that fake vendor’s profile in the system, according to the complaint.

The company officials also told police that since she was fired, Davis and her husband were seen removing snowmobiles, boats, cars and other items from their Maple Grove house.