Not Safe (To Do) For Work

Controller at Minnesota golf club made a lot more money from her job than she was supposed to

August 25, 2017

These days when you see a tweet about the Secret Service and golf, you naturally assume there’s something going on with President Trump at one of his toney courses. So we were pleasantly surprised to see this post had nothing to do with the Commander in Chief, but just a good old-fashioned embezzlement accusation.

The link leads to a press release from Wednesday announcing the indictment of Julie Ann Lee. According to the release, the 53-year-old had been working as controller at Town & Country Club in St. Paul, Minn, from 2008 to 2016. Town & Country Club dates back to 1888 and is referred to by some as the first “country club” in Minnesota. The course hosted the 1951 U.S. Women’s Amateur and was the scheduled site of the 1940 Walker Cup before it was postponed due to World War II.

According to the indictment, Lee was responsible for managing TCC’s finances and used her position to embezzle more than $1 million from the club over eight years. She has been charged on four counts of wire fraud and six counts of filing false tax returns.

The release goes on to offer details of a rather elaborate “scheme” that Lee allegedly undertook. Lee is reported to have issued herself more than 50 checks totaling more than $150,000 directly from the club’s bank account (in her job she reportedly had the authority to sign and issue checks on behalf of TCC). Lee is also reported to have taken roughly $250,000 in cash from the club and money from the club’s bank accounts to pay approximately $600,000 in personal credit cards.

The indictment accuses Lee of trying to conceal the missing money by taking advances on the club’s line of credit at a local bank. Lee’s actions at one point left the club without enough money in its account to make a quarterly payroll tax payment to the IRS. Her actions also reportedly cost the club more than $300,000 in interest and penalties with the IRS.

Lee is alleged to have used the money, according to the release, “on things unrelated to TCC, including personal travel, home improvements and her mortgage, a 2013 Dodge Charger, a 2015 GMC Sierra K3500 pickup truck, a motorcycle, a recreational vehicle, and 81 acres of land in northern Minnesota.”

The Loop could not reach Lee for comment. Reached by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Lee said she had no comment.


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