Inver Grove Heights man charged with embezzlement

A former Allina Health vice president suspected of embezzling $269,000 from the company was charged Jan. 8 with seven counts of theft by swindle, according to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

David Johnson, 53, of Inver Grove Heights, will make his first appearance in Hennepin County District Court for the charges Feb. 14. 

According to the press release, the alleged embezzlement began in 2004 but the criminal complaint against Johnson only accounts for crimes allegedly committed within the five-year statute of limitations. Investigators suspect he stole closer to $755,000 over the past decade and a half.

In May 2017, Allina Health officials became suspicious of Johnson and thought he may have been submitting false mileage and personal reimbursement requests. On May 11, two employees spoke to Johnson about their suspicions and allowed him to use his laptop to prove the validity of his expense reports. According to the criminal complaint, Johnson allegedly was unable to do that, and he was placed on administrative leave. 

Other employees went to Johnson’s cubical and collected several files containing expense reports. These files supported the suspicions that Johnson allegedly submitted fraudulent reimbursement forms, court documents say.

On May 12, Allina expanded its internal investigation to include a review of his company credit card usage. This revealed that in addition to the false mileage and reimbursements he submitted, Johnson’s company credit card also had numerous transactions between 2014 and 2017 that appeared to be for his personal benefit.

Allina provided this information to the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau. The CFB executed a search warrant at Firefly Credit Union to obtain information relating to Johnson’s accounts and his company-issued laptop. The information found from these investigations supported Allina’s suspicions, court documents say.

If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine, 20 years in prison, or both.

Hannah Burlingame

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