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Colfax woman pleads guilty to embezzling $41,000 from her employer

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — A 43-year-old Colfax woman pleaded guilty to embezzling $41,000 from her employer, RB Scott Company, in Eau Claire County Circuit Court last month.

Judge William M. Gabler accepted the guilty plea from Jodi L. Larson July 15, ordered her to pay $41,621.57 in restitution, withheld sentencing, placed Larson on five years of probation and ordered her to spend 30 days in jail.

Larson was charged with one felony count of theft from a business setting in an amount greater than $10,000.

According to online court records, if probation or extended supervision is revoked while Larson still has outstanding financial obligations on paying the restitution, a civil judgement will be entered against Larson in favor of restitution for the victim in the amount that remains.

Larson also was ordered by the court to have no contact with RB Scott Company, its employees or family members.

According to the criminal complaint, Larson worked for RB Scott for about nine years, until July of 2015. She became office manager in 2014, and in 2011, she was given charge of the company’s petty cash fund.

RB Scott Company is a specialized dealer of processing equipment for sand, gravel, crushed rock, frac sand and recycling located on Short Street in Eau Claire.

The complaint states, “the defendant admitted that she used her company credit card for personal purchases contrary to company policy and without authorization.”

The amounts listed in the complaint as charged to company credit cards came to nearly $20,000.

The complaint also states that analysis of the petty cash fund revealed that an undocumented amount of $21,429 was missing from petty cash.

Between 2011 and 2015, Larson used the credit card to conduct 81 transactions totaling $27,118 that were legitimate business expenses. The credit card’s account history also revealed 151 transactions between 2012 and 2015 totaling $15,803 that were “clearly personal purchases made by the defendant and not legitimate business expenses,” according to the complaint.

Of the 151 transactions, 21 purchases were made from “Thirty-One Gifts” totaling $6,320.

Detective Kevin Farley of the Eau Claire Police Department determined that Larson is a direct seller for Thirty-One Gifts, a company that sells handbags and other products, according to the complaint.

Other unauthorized purchases on the credit card included $1,105 to the Chippewa Valley Music Festival; a firearm from Gander Mountain for $348; headphones from Target for $282; a purchase for $447 from Aloha Beach Resort in Wisconsin Dells; and multiple purchases from a beauty cream company, Proactiv, the iTunes music store, Wal-Mart, Shopko, and the Oakwood Mall, according to the complaint.