A Mound resident pleaded guilty to six counts of theft by swindle May 8, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Alison Craft Klug, also known as Alison Craft Reily, 37, pleaded guilty to the theft of $181,500 from the North Hennepin Community College Foundation in Brooklyn Park and $19,000 from the Tonka Alano Society in Mound. The county attorney’s office will ask that Klug be sentenced to 46 months in prison when she is sentenced July 24.
Klug was hired as a bookkeeper by the North Hennepin Community College Foundation through a temporary agency, according to the criminal complaint. Later, she worked as an independent contractor for the foundation.
“Her job as bookkeeping services was to keep track of the foundation’s accounts, give reports to the board, issue checks and basically run the finances,” according to the criminal complaint. Klug did not have a foundation credit card.
During the foundation’s annual audit in September 2016, Klug answered an outside auditors questions regarding issues with findings in the audit, left at her regular time and never returned.
The audit revealed discrepancies that prompted the foundation to conduct an internal investigation. This investigation revealed that Klug had generated duplicate paychecks for herself, created fake payees in the bookkeeping database who could receive those paychecks and forged her supervisors’ signature on the duplicate paychecks, according to the criminal complaint.
“Ms. Klug was an independent contractor who performed bookkeeping services for the foundation,” said foundation spokesperson Valerie Martin. “The foundation will continue to cooperate with authorities as the legal process unfolds. In the meantime, our efforts to recover and rebuild from the theft continue. We are thankful for the support our donor community has demonstrated in the wake of this event and remain committed to providing scholarship opportunities for our students,” she said.
Klug’s services were terminated when the foundation was alerted of the financial inconsistencies in the audit.
The theft represented approximately 20 percent of the foundations overall funds.
An investigator in the Brooklyn Park Police Department inspected Klug’s bank records and found that between Sept. 12 and Nov. 3, 2016, Klug made regular deposits with checks from the Tonka Alano Society. When contacted, the society told the investigator that Klug was lead treasurer of the society, an unpaid volunteer position, and that she should not receive any money from the organization.
“When society officials checked their account, it had been drained down to $5,” according to the county attorney’s office.
After Klug’s arrest, she admitted to police that she had stole from North Hennepin, saying she needed the money to pay bills, according to the complaint. She told police she had stolen approximately $50,000.
Klug told police that after she was fired from North Hennepin, she started writing checks for herself from the Tonka Society, as she needed the money to pay off student loans and credit card debt. She apologized and offered to pay back some of the money over time.
The Brooklyn Park Police Department could not be reached for comment before press time.
Contact Kevin Miller at [email protected]