Independence Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing $247,000 from Employer
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the former financial comptroller of a North Kansas City, Mo., business pleaded guilty in federal court today to a wire fraud scheme in which he embezzled more than $247,000 from his employer over five years.
John S. Kruse, 48, of Independence, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to wire fraud.
Kruse was employed as the financial comptroller of BCC Merchant Solutions, a North Kansas City firm that provides electronic payment systems, e-commerce systems, business capital and marketing services to other companies.
By pleading guilty today, Kruse admitted that he engaged in a scheme to steal at least $247,508 from BCC Merchant Solutions from April 2010 until his resignation in July 2014. Kruse made at least 213 unauthorized wire transfers from his employer’s bank account into his personal bank account. Through his scheme, Kruse embezzled $5,776 in 2010; $36,989 in 2011; $71,868 in 2012; $76,225 in 2013; and $56,648 in 2014.
Kruse used the money to pay for extravagant trips for his family to Las Vegas, Nev., and to Disneyworld. He spent $50,934 at convenience stores and for gasoline; $41,197 on entertainment; $138,186 for groceries and general merchandise; $65,416 through PayPal; $49,105 for travel and leisure; $49,773 for miscellaneous; and $50,934 for cash.
As the financial comptroller, Kruse was in charge of paying out sales commissions and bank reconciliations, along with keeping records within QuickBooks. In the course of his job, Kruse was authorized to access BCC Merchant Solutions’ bank account. To hide his embezzlement, Kruse manipulated the QuickBooks records to falsely reflect that the money he transferred into his account was being used elsewhere. Kruse falsified who the deposits were made to, indicating they were payments made on sales commissions and bank reconciliations.
Under federal statutes, Kruse is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. Kruse must also forfeit to the government a money judgment of $247,508. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel M. Nelson. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the North Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.
Updated November 9, 2015