United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today federal charges against a Sellersburg woman for six counts of wire fraud from a KFC restaurant management chain.
Lesley R. Kruer, 42, was charged by indictment this week for her role in stealing over $250,000 in a 10 year period.
“Stealing from corporate businesses affects us all,” said Minkler. “It increases prices we pay at the counter and has a generally negative effect on our economy.”
Kruer was the office manager for a company based in Sellersburg, IN., which operated 28 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Indiana and Kentucky. She was entrusted with the company’s payroll, to pay vendors and purchase equipment. Kruer had access to and signature authority for bank accounts for the victim company and was authorized to use company credit cards for business expenses.
The scheme to defraud allegedly began in July 2004 and continued until June 2014 with the victim company sustaining over $250,000 in losses.
Kruer accessed the payroll system giving herself unauthorized raises and abused company credit cards pretending to be making business expense purchases when in fact she was using the cards for personal items like a foot massager and paying her personal cell phone bill.
Further, she intentionally overpaid vendors for goods and services they provided. When the vendor would reimburse the company for the overpayment, Kruer allegedly deposited the check into her personal account.
This case was jointly investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.
“This case demonstrates the strong partnership of the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and the Clark County Sheriff’s Department in protecting individuals and businesses within the community,” said Craig Hutzell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Louisville Field Office, U.S. Secret Service. “We will continue to leverage this relationship in our pursuit of those who would use illegal means and criminal behavior to take advantage of others.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany J. McCormick who is prosecuting this case for the government, Kruer faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.
An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are innocent until proven otherwise in federal court.