After more than two years, no charges yet in $300,000 Mayo Clinic theft

January 6, 2019

After more than two years of investigation by the FBI, no charges have been filed against the Mayo Clinic employee who reportedly stole at least $300,000 in cash and “additional tangible items.”

However, the case was recently handed over to the Rochester Police Dept., which is referring it to the Olmsted County Attorney for possible charges.

The theft was originally discovered by Mayo Clinic in 2016 and reported to the IRS in its 2017 filing.

“The theft was reported to law enforcement, the employee terminated and improved cash practices were implemented,” according to the statement in the 2017 document.

Mayo Clinic referred the case to the FBI, which described it as an “ongoing investigation” throughout 2017 and 2018.

That changed a few weeks ago. The FBI passed the case on to the Rochester Police Dept. on Dec. 14, after federal prosecutors declined to charge anyone based on the FBI’s evidence.

“We’ve looked at it and collected as much of the documentation as we’ve could. We’re forwarding to the “Olmsted) county attorney’s office for review,” said Rochester Police Sgt. Eric Strop. “We anticipate someone in county office will be reviewing material, making contact with federal prosecutors that declined to take on the case, getting any additional information they need and then they can make a decision to charge anyone with the case.”

The statue of limitations on a property crime involving more than $35,000 or eight or more direct victims is five years.

County Attorney Mark Ostrem had not seen the case yet on Thursday, though he was aware of it. After all of the time involved in the FBI investigation, the decision to charge the suspect former Mayo Clinic employee is now up to Ostrem’s office.

In confirming the transfer from the FBI to the Rochester police, Mayo Clinic representative Duska Anastasijevic said that the clinic continues “… to support the prosecution of the former employee.”

While there has been a lot of unofficial discussion among Mayo Clinic staff about the case, few details have ever been released.

It is unusual for Mayo Clinic to publicly mention a theft by an employee. In this instance, the IRS rules required the report be made.

The section in the 990 form, filed by all nonprofits with the IRS, asked about any “significant diversion” of assets. Any amount of $250,000 or more is considered “significant” in this context by the IRS. When Mayo Clinic answered it was aware of such a diversion, it then had to explain the circumstances.

“A diversion of assets includes any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization’s assets other than for the organization’s authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft. Report diversions by the organization’s officers, directors, trustees, employees, volunteers, independent contractors, grantees (diverting grant funds) or any other person, even if not associated with the organization other than by the diversion,” according to IRS directions.

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