Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Tuesday

June 17, 2014

Region in Brief: 06/17/2014

Kewadin embezzler must repay $74,000

BELLAIRE — A judge ruled a Kewadin woman must pay an Elk Rapids company $74,000 from which authorities said she embezzled money by writing herself inflated checks.

Cora Mae Crawford, 57, pleaded guilty in May to an embezzlement charge. She appeared Monday before 13th Circuit Court Judge Philip Rodgers for a sentencing hearing.

Rodgers sentenced Crawford to a year in Antrim County’s jail, 60 months of probation and ordered her to pay restitution.

Crawford’s former employers at Elk Rapids Engineering contacted Elk Rapids police last year about unusual financial activity. Investigators found checks bearing Crawford’s signature that paid her tens of thousands of dollars beyond the work she performed.


Accused embezzler pleads guilty

TRAVERSE CITY — A former Munson Medical Center food service manager pleaded guilty to an embezzlement charge.

Munson officials counted $27,500 in personal purchases that Jeffrey Joseph Ales, 43, of Traverse City, made with cards in the hospital’s name, according to a police report. He worked as a senior manager for Sodexo, a company contracted to provide the hospital’s food services.

Prosecutors charged Ales with embezzlement. He appeared June 13 in 13th Circuit Court and entered a guilty plea.

Court records state Ale also agreed to pay restitution. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 11.


Police: CVS threat part of larger scam

TRAVERSE CITY — City police evacuated a downtown CVS after an employee received a threatening phone call believed to be linked to a nationwide scam.

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said an employee in the store’s pharmacy received a call Monday afternoon from a person who threatened to blow up the business if they didn’t activate and send them a cash card.

Police officers cleared the store at Front and Division streets while they searched its aisles with a bomb-sniffing dog. They found nothing suspicious.

“We believe it was related to a scam that came out a month or so ago,” Ayling said.

Ayling said Monday’s incident is the sixth such report received in the Traverse City area and it matches similar scams from across the country. He said the incidents typically involve a caller with what sounded like a “thick Middle Eastern accent.”



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