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Service manager admits to embezzling $1.3 million from trucking company

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A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to charges related to a years-long scheme to embezzle $1.3 million from his trucking company employer.

Hugo resident Leon Arthur Keener, 55, has pleaded guilty to mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota.

From 2011 to 2022, Keener was employed as a service manager for an interstate trucking company with a facility in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

Authorities say that Keener used his managerial oversight to embezzle $1,314,633 from his trucking company employer.

One part of the embezzlement scheme involved stealing insurance reimbursement payments. Authorities say that this netted Keener more than $562,000.

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

According to court documents, his scheme involved misappropriating insurance reimbursement checks for supplemental repairs by writing off the supplemental repair work as a loss, indicating in the accounts payable system that the insurance company had refused to reimburse the supplemental repair. Keener then deposited the insurance check into a personal bank account under his control. He concealed the embezzlement by directing his employees to provide him directly with any checks received from insurance companies, cutting out the administrative and accounting employees on staff at Company A.

Another part of the embezzlement scheme involved generating and submitting false vendor payment requests.

“Keener also embezzled $751,000 from the company by generating and submitting false vendor payment requests, which he diverted for his own use and benefit. Many of these bogus requests for vendor payments were for a shell company he created and controlled called “CR Services,” which he added to Company A’s accounts payable system in 2012, before the system required verified vendor identification. All of the vendor and insurance reimbursement payments were facilitated using the mail. Keener used a bank account opened in the name of CR Services to pay personal expenses and transferred funds from the CR Services account into his personal bank account. He used the embezzled funds on gambling trips to Las Vegas, luxury cars, and a boat,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

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