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Hutchinson Woman Sentenced to Prison for Embezzling More Than $2 Million from Employer

MINNEAPOLIS – A Hutchinson woman has been sentenced to 41 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in full for embezzling over $2 million from her employer, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, Jennifer Lee Rath, 53, worked as the financial controller at a heavy civil construction company located in Hutchinson, Minnesota. As the financial controller, Rath was responsible for managing the company's payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, company credit cards, and corporate bank accounts. Over a six-year period, Rath used her position to embezzle funds and convert them to her own use and benefit. Rath routinely cut checks that appeared to cover the company's liabilities, but then manipulated the checks to instead pay her own credit card debts, tax liabilities, and other personal expenses. Rath also processed electronic fund transfers from the company's bank accounts to pay personal expenses and improperly charged personal expenses to company credit cards. Rath manipulated the company's accounting software to conceal the money she stole, avoid detection, and prolong her fraud scheme.

In total, between August 2013 and December 2019, Rath knowingly and willfully embezzled $2,061,328.67 from her employer. Because of Rath's embezzlement, the company's business and reputation suffered, as employees lost their jobs, it could not pay vendors on time, and its credit suffered.

On September 7, 2023, Rath pleaded guilty to two felon-in-possession counts, and to one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. She was sentenced on June 18, 2024, in U.S. District Court by Judge Jerry W. Blackwell. In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Blackwell commented that he was particularly troubled that Rath exploited a longtime family friend who had put her in a position of trust over a small business.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Hutchinson Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan L. Sing prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Secord and Paralegal Specialist Jessica Scott handled the asset investigation and restitution enforcement.


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