Minneapolis/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 21, 2024
Hutchinson Financial Controller Sentenced to Over 3 Years for $2 Million EmbezzlementSource: howtostartablogonline.net, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a case of grave betrayal of trust within the confines of corporate finance, Jennifer Lee Rath, a 53-year-old woman from Hutchinson, has been sentenced to over three years in prison for embezzling more than $2 million from her employer. The conviction was confirmed in a statement released by U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger. Rath, the financial controller for a heavy civil construction company, was found to have systematically redirected company funds to pay off her expenses between August 2013 and December 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota.

Details of the case reveal that Rath utilized her position to not only cut checks meant for company liabilities but also to cleverly alter them to settle her credit card debts and tax liabilities, as per the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota. The sophisticated scheme involved her manipulating the company's accounting software to both conceal the stolen money and to brazenly attempt to avoid detection over six years. This fraudulent activity led to dire consequences for the company; job losses disrupted payments to vendors, and damaged credit were the fallout from Rath's actions. Rath's sentencing took place on June 18, 2024, where she also received three years of supervised release and was ordered to fully restore the embezzled funds.

The investigation of Rath's fraudulent practices was a joint effort carried out by the FBI and the Hutchinson Police Department. Announced by U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger, the investigatory team’s findings ultimately led to Rath pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud on September 7, 2023. As detailed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota, she had defrauded the company of a total of $2,061,328.67.

The prosecution of the case fell under Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan L. Sing, with additional efforts by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Secord and Paralegal Specialist Jessica Scott, who were integral to the asset investigation and ensuring the enforcement of restitution.