--I find it mind bending trying to understand how someone can steal over 2 million dollars from a company and no one notices for years.
Just like the lady that stole 26 million from Dixmoor. No one sees this going on?--
Story at Chicago Tribune
8:54 PM CDT, April 25, 2013
A longtime former general manager of a west suburban chemical company has been charged with embezzling more than $2 million, in part to pay off credit card bills and remodel her kitchen, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
Kathleen Barth was fired as general manager at Kraft Chemical Co. after the thefts were discovered a year ago, according to a Circuit Court lawsuit filed by the company to recover the losses.
According to the lawsuit and prosecutors, Barth was paid $65,000 a year but secretly inflated her compensation to as much as $286,000, disguising the additional money as bonuses and commissions.
She also electronically transferred about $990,000 from the company's checking account to pay off her personal credit cards, prosecutors alleged. According to the lawsuit, those payments to her American Express card totaled as much as $40,000 in a single month.
Prosecutors charged that Barth also stole from Kraft by issuing unauthorized company checks directly to herself and having the company issue checks to contractors to pay for work at her Chicago home. She spent as much as $91,000 in company funds to remodel the kitchen, according to the lawsuit.
Barth, 56, was arrested Wednesday night on a warrant that set her bail at $200,000. She is being held in Cook County Jail until a hearing Friday at which prosecutors intend to seek an increase in the bail amount.
Rick Kraft, third-generation president of the family-run company, said he was distraught over the alleged theft but could not comment further because of the pending litigation.
While arresting Barth at home, police found numerous pieces of jewelry, watches and figurines, according to David Harris, who succeeded Barth as general manager.
Harris said a prosecutor told him that the place looked like a museum.
Barth, who joined the company in April 2005, grew bolder with each year she got away with the thefts, according to the lawsuit. She allegedly inflated her salary to $101,500 in 2006 with the phony bonuses and commissions. By 2011, her salary had soared to $286,000 as part of the scheme, the lawsuit alleged. In that way, Barth stole more than $840,000, prosecutors charged.
She also used company money to pay her personal Citi Card and American Express credit cards, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time. The lawsuit alleged that Barth disguised electronic transfers on company paperwork by referring to them as "profit sharing" and "miscellaneous" expenses.
In another lawsuit filed this month, the Federal National Mortgage Association is seeking to foreclose on Barth's Chicago home in the 1700 block of North Rutherford Avenue.