You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Grand jury indicts trucking company employee on embezzlement charges

ST. LOUIS, MO – A federal grand jury indicted Michelle Serth-Stein on five counts of wire fraud. The 50 year old is a resident of Smithton, Illinois.

According to the indictment, between approximately October 2017 and August 2019, Serth-Stein embezzled monies from her employers to pay for retail expenditures and personal loans.  Serth-Stein first worked at St. Louis-based Midwest Systems where she was the company’s driver recruiter. Serth-Stein’s role required submitting invoices for reimbursement of driver recruitment expenses. Serth-Stein, from October 2017 to January 2019, submitted false and fraudulent invoices to Midwest Systems for payments directed to Serth-Stein’s personal bank account. The company fired her on January 24, 2019.

On March 3, 2019, AA Express, Inc. hired Serth-Stein to conduct driver recruitment and oversee driver safety. AA Express, Inc. is also a St. Louis-based trucking company. From approximately March 2019 until August 2019, Serth-Stein made unauthorized Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions from the AA Express, Inc. business bank account and intercepted at least one check made payable to AA Express, Inc. by using her check signing privileges on the AA Express, Inc. bank account. Serth-Stein then directed the funds into her personal checking account. On August 10, 2019, Serth-Stein’s employment with AA Express, Inc. ended.

Serth-Stein embezzled approximately $120,804.57 from Midwest Systems and AA Express, Inc. without the knowledge or authorization of her employers.

For each count of wire fraud, Serth-Stein faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Charges set forth in the indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating this case.  Assistant United States Attorney Lindsay McClure-Hartman is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

#####

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Venton Blandin venton.blandin@usdoj.gov 314-534-6805
Updated December 3, 2020