Kenyon Woman Convicted For $700,000 Employer Embezzlement and Tax Fraud Scheme
Minneapolis - A Kenyon woman was found guilty in federal court Tuesday of embezzling over $700,000 from two different employers.
The U.S Attorney's Office said 59-year-old Kimberly Sue Peterson-Janovec was found guilty of 24 counts of fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax crimes. Peterson-Janovec embezzled from the owners of several Denny’s restaurant franchises around the Twin Cities and from a family-owned construction company in Rochester.
Prosecutors said Peterson-Janovec became the Director of Operations for MI5 in April 2014. Authorities said that she used her position to embezzle funds by generating and submitting false requests for vendor payments and then diverting those payments for her own use and benefit. Peterson-Janovec also manipulated the company’s payroll system to issue herself unauthorized compensation using the names of employees who no longer worked for the company.
Prosecutors said MI5 discovered aspects of Peterson-Janovc’s fraud and terminated her employment in 2019.
In total, Peterson-Janovec received approximately $336,000 in bogus vendor payments and approximately $20,000 in fraudulently issued payroll submissions using the identities of other people.
Authorities said Peterson-Janovec then lied about her work experience to get a bookkeeping job with a family-owned construction company in Rochester, identified as Company 3. She was eventually promoted to its general manager.
She used her position to access Company 3’s QuickBooks to issue herself numerous payments, and she did so in a manner that made the payments appear as if they were going to Company 3 vendors. This netted Peterson-Janovec another $350,000 in as little as 18 months.
Peterson-Janovec also committed tax crimes during every year of her fraud scheme, which led to over $160,000 in unpaid taxes.
She was found guilty on 13 counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of making and subscribing a false tax return, and three counts of failure to file individual tax returns.
She will be sentenced at a later date.