Local man arrested for allegedly stealing $20,000 from employer

ST. GEORGE — A local man was arrested for allegedly stealing nearly $20,000 from his employer using a number of schemes involving the use of a company credit card for personal use.

William Ryan Duncan, 35, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Sept. 20, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

William Duncan, 35, of St. George, was arrested Friday at a grocery store in St. George and booked into jail facing two second-degree felonies, including one count of unlawful use of a finance card and communication fraud. He was also charged with three third-degree felony counts of communication fraud, according to charging documents submitted to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.

The charges stem from an investigation that ensued after a local business called police reporting that an employee, later identified as Duncan, had allegedly used a company credit card to make personal purchases.

During the investigation, detectives interviewed Duncan who admitted to making the purchases on the company’s card, saying that some of the purchases were accidental.

The suspect also admitted he had not obtained permission from his employer to use the card prior to making the charges, indicating that according to company procedure, the charges should be either on a tool account or refunded as part of a bankruptcy he was filing. With the ensuing investigation, Duncan was released.

Meanwhile, the company provided police with information about another alleged fraud involving charges that were made on the company account at a wholesale tire supplier, tires Duncan then allegedly sold to other employees for cash.

The size, brands and dates of the tire sales were consistent with the invoices related to what was charged on the company credit cards, and while the tires had been purchased out of state, they were sold in Utah, a scheme that resulted in a loss to the company of more than $5,800.

Duncan had also used a check issued by the company that was to be used to pay an outside contractor for business-related services, but instead of using the check as payment, the suspect cashed the check and paid for the services using a company credit card, resulting in a $2,100 loss to the company.

Additionally, the suspect used a company account to pay for work completed on his personal vehicles which resulted in a loss of more than $4,500 to the company.

A further review of company records indicated additional charges of nearly $1,700 to the tool account, which could not be reconciled with the sum of unauthorized charges. Further, detectives found that multiple charges on the company credit card were later disputed which resulted in refunds totaling more than $3,600 back to the company.

“This amount would be a loss suffered by the bank under the scheme of making charges, then disputing them for reimbursement,” the officer noted in the statement.

Detectives reviewed the list of charges that were neither disputed nor added to the tool account in the amount of nearly $5,200, which included charges to pay for items at local convenience stores, hotels, rental vehicles, a utility company, online retailers and more.

Shortly thereafter, detectives received information that Duncan was at a local grocery store on Mall Drive and responded to the store where they located the suspect and took him into custody.

Duncan was transported and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility for the offenses listed.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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