Answer Man: Missing Mayo money, a thief and a burrito

July 15, 2018

Hey, Really Smart Guy: I was chatting with co-workers during lunch in the Mayo Cafeteria the other day when somebody asked whatever happened to that guy who swiped a bunch of cash from Mayo Clinic a year or two ago.

Nobody seemed to know, and Google didn’t seem to help. My guess was he’s sitting in Stillwater or some place like it.

What’s the story? — Lunch Buddy

As you might imagine, Buddy, the Answer Man never has time to lounge around and enjoy a leisurely half-hour lunch as most Mayo-ites do.

As I sat at my desk munching on a delicious burrito purchased from one of the Med City’s culinary trucks, I reached out to the PB’s intrepid business reporter, Jeff Kiger, to refresh my stupendous memory about Rochester’s largest cash theft reported in 2016.

To help those who might have somehow forgotten, here’s the official background:

In its last filing with the IRS, Mayo Clinic reported:

“In 2016, a theft of cash by an employee responsible for handling cash was discovered. It is estimated the loss exceeded $300,000. Additional tangible items were also discovered that may be stolen property. … The theft was reported to law enforcement, the employee terminated, and improved cash practices were implemented.”

It seems so straightforward I can understand your assumption the allegedly felonious staffer might already be doing time for the crime.

However, Kiger, while hungrily ogling my lunch, said it’s strangely not that simple. The case was not reported to the Rochester Police Department but went directly to the FBI.

The feds say they still are investigating, but that’s all they are saying.

No name or gender has ever been released about the suspected thief. On the unofficial side of things, the chatty Mother Mayo crowd has speculated it was someone in the parking department pocketing cash from drivers during some time, maybe years.

That’s what we in the biz call, “an unconfirmed rumor.”

Kiger has asked Mayo Clinic officials about the theft, the thief and the parking rumors many times. Their short unsatisfying responses have always been very similar, ever since we first broke the story in November 2017.

“This investigation is continuing, and we continue to support the prosecution of the former employee. We can’t comment further on an ongoing investigation,” Susan Barber Lindquist of Mayo Clinic Public Affairs wrote this week.

So while the erstwhile thief probably isn’t eating lunch in the Mayo cafeteria, it sounds as though they’re not eating in a prison cafeteria either.

Now that’s settled, I’m off to buy the always ravenous Kiger his own burrito in recompense for his very meager, though appreciated, assistance.

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