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Police investigate reported embezzlement of $300,000 from Moorhead car dealership

MOORHEAD – Police are investigating two former employees of The Big Lot car dealership here who allegedly admitted to being involved in a scheme to embezzle more than $300,000 from the company.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed Thursday in Clay County District Court, Moorhead police were contacted in May regarding an internal embezzlement investigation at the Big Lot involving two people in management positions there.

According to the affidavit:

One of the employees was interviewed later in May and admitted to mishandling the company’s finances, as well as having knowledge of the embezzlement and failing to report it. That manager allegedly told investigators he didn’t personally gain from the embezzlement.

The other manager allegedly told a Moorhead detective he had a gambling problem and admitted to the embezzlement, but he didn’t think the amount embezzled was as large as a detective told him.

Investigators also interviewed a controller for the company who told them the suspicious activity appears to go back to 2007.

The controller told the investigators she discovered the activity when she had noticed some strange-looking transactions between the Moorhead store and one in Detroit Lakes.

One of the manager’s accounts receivables looked high, she said, and a number of down payments were received but not recorded properly.

Store owners told detectives the employees admitted their involvement and were fired.

Investigators seized financial records from September 2007 through May of this year from the employees, as well as from a woman identified as being part of the scheme.

The Forum is not identifying the names of the employees under investigation because no criminal charges have been filed.

A spokesperson for the Big Lot declined to comment.

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