Your Check Is in the Mail

BY JOSEPH T. WELLS

Sabrina Walker of Minneapolis must have been one happy camper—at least for a while. It seems that in March the state of Minnesota inadvertently cut a $2.5 million check to her instead of the Hennepin County Medical Center, the intended recipient.

Walker’s only other dealing with the state’s accounting system was an $84 check she received as a court witness. But as luck would have it, her vendor number was one digit removed from the hospital’s nine-digit number, and a clerical error in the state’s accounting system sent her the millions.

Rather than return the money, Walker allegedly bought a $500,000 certificate of deposit, and later, a Treasury bond of the same amount. She went on to buy four automobiles and spent another $5,500 on jewelry, $3,817 on electronic equipment and $2,069 on limousine services. Prosecutors charged Walker with theft by swindle and concealing the proceeds of a crime.

—Joseph T. Wells, CPA, CFE

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