Knowing the Health Department suspected Edward Mueth had been scheming to steal millions of dollars before he killed himself would have made things easier for St. Louis County Police investigating the fraud. That's according to Police Chief Tim Fitch, who told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his department didn't learn about the scam until 18 hours after Meuth's September 19, 2013 suicide.
Now, the paper reports it has received documents that show that County Health officials suspected the scheme, but delayed reporting it to law enforcement.
Officials say Mueth embezzled $3.4 million over six years by using his computer company to overcharge the county for equiptment and technical services.
An independent audit of St. Louis County operations shows Edward Mueth collected $3.4 million from the St. Louis County Health Department before killing himself last month.
Mueth shot himself the day before he was to meet with his bosses at the County Health Department to discuss invoicing irregularities regarding his company, Gateway Technical Solutions.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that it's still not clear what goods and services Mueth's company actually delivered to the health department over a six year period.
The audit, delivered to the County Council Thursday, found that the county had approved equipment purchases and leases from Gateway Technical Solutions at prices that were well above retail.
The audit had been commissioned before Mueth's scam came to light. A police investigation into Mueth's financial dealings with the Health Department is ongoing.
A high ranking St. Louis County Health Department administrator is dead and police are trying to determine if he killed himself to cover up a crime.
And there seems to be some disagreement between Health Department officials and police as to how serious some invoicing irregularities involving Edward Mueth might be.
Mueth killed himself Thursday, one day before he was to meet with officials about money the department paid to a technology firm that he reportedly owns.
Police Chief Tim Fitch says it appears Mueth may have been embezzling funds. Chief Fitch told Fox 2 News that Mueth is suspected of "setting up what could be a company, or maybe a couple of different companies under other names," and using bogus contracts to divert Health Department funds to his personal accounts.
Fitch says the scam could involve millions of dollars. But health department spokesperson Pat Washington says it's too soon to say if any money is missing at all.
The 39 years old administrator had been with the health department for nine year and made $86,000 annually. He had declared bankruptcy in 2004. Yet Mueth had lived in a Webster Groves home he purchased for $1.4 million in 2010. Mueth had told friends he used funds from an IT firm he used to own in order to buy the home.
Another former metro-east police chief is heading to prison. The former top cop in Edwardsville, 57 year old James Bedell, was sentenced Thursday to a year and a half in federal prison for stealing nearly $140,000 in city funds.
Bedell had pleaded guilty in April to taking money from a department lock box that contained vehicle impound fees between 2009 and 2012.
Bedell resigned nearly a year ago on the day agents raided his home and office. He had been with the department since 2007.
A former St. Louis city employee, convicted of wire fraud in March, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 71 year old Fred Robinson embezzled about $240-thousand from the now-defunct charter school, Paideia Academy, and collected more than $175-thousand in city paychecks as a "ghost employee". Robinson was the chairman of the charter school's board. Robinson's sentence includes five other charges of federal program theft, relating to his salary from 2006-10 under then-St. Louis Treasurer Larry Williams. Prosecutors say Robinson earned a $35-thousand city salary, but filed bogus time sheets and never did any work for the treasurer’s office. The judge also ordered Robinson to pay about $420,000 in restitution. He must also serve three years probation following his release from prison. Robinson is free on bail while his case is appealed.
An O'Fallon Missouri woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly embezzling from a north St. Louis county bank. Thirty three year old Janelle Earley is charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from St. Johns Bank. The court's decision was handed down yesterday. Authorities say Earley embezzled the money between 2011 and this year.
The FBI is investigating a former metro-east official accused of embezzling more than $750,000 over the last 10 years.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an audit by Alton accounting firm Kenneth E. Loy & Co., LLC has determined that former Moro Township Supervisor Donald Flack embezzled more than $100,000 last year alone. But exactly how much was taken won't be known until the forensic audit is completed in September.
Auditors say charges against Flack are likely to be filed soon.
Flack resigned May 14th when trustees confronted him about the missing funds.
Moro Township covers a rural area of Madison County northeast of Alton.