Willoughby Hills woman accused of embezzling more than $650,000 - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Willoughby Hills woman accused of embezzling more than $650,000


Federal officials say Theresa Medsker, 51, is accused of embezzling approximately $654,192 in federal funds while working as the bookkeeper for the Schnurmann House in Mayfield Heights.  A one-count criminal information was filed Friday.

Schnurmann House is a non-profit, inter-denomonational housing community consisting of 198 apartments for individuals age 62 and over that receives a substantial portion of its funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"This defendant was in a position of trust, and the charge lays out behavior that is a clear violation of that trust,"  said Steven Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "This office will continue to hold accountable those that would betray the public's confidence, in whatever form."

The information charges that from on or about December 28, 2005 through on or about January 10, 2012, Medsker controlled Schnurmann House's bank accounts, and issued fraudulent checks from these accounts to herself.

Because all of the Schnurmann House checks required two signatures, one from the executive director and one from the administrative assistant, Medsker forged the signature of the executive director on the checks and presented them to the administrative assistant, who signed them believing that the executive director had already approved the checks, according to the information.

Then, Medsker cashed and deposited the Schnurmann House checks into her personal bank accounts.

In order to conceal her theft of funds from the Schnurmann House, Medsker altered and falsified the Schnurmann House's monthly bank statements by physically cutting and pasting vendor checks on top of the checks she wrote to herself, and making counterfeit copies of the bank statements, according to the information.

Medsker then submitted the altered bank statements to the executive director and the board as Schnurmann House's official financial records, according to the information.

Over the course of the fraud, Medsker deposited approximately 300 Schnurmann House checks made payable to her into her personal accounts totaling approximately $654,192, according to the information.

If convicted, Medsker's sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including defendant's prior criminal record, if any, defendant's role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.

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