Rachel Ann Fries, 26, of Denison, was arrested on a warrant on July 6 and charged with eight felonies in connection with the unauthorized use of a credit card, theft and forgery involving her employer, Siemer Plumbing and Heating, of Denison.
According to the criminal complaints filed in district court by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the actions that led to her arrest began in December 2019 and continued through her time of employment with the company.
Fries was employed at Siemer Plumbing and Heating from October 2019 to May 2020.
The most serious of the charges facing Fries are two Class C felonies.
One is for the unauthorized use of a credit card in an amount of over $10,000.
The criminal complaint says that as office manager, Fries had the ability to access a number of financial accounts associated with the business, among them a Wells Fargo business credit card which was generally used to purchase fuel for service calls. Starting in December 2019, Fries began to use the business credit card for personal purchases without the knowledge and authorization of the business owner, Derrick Siemer, the criminal complaint says. The total amount of the unauthorized purchases made by Fries was found to be $11,405.45.
The other Class C felony is theft in the 1st degree and involved altering payroll checks and the unauthorized use of Siemer’s signature stamp.
The criminal complaint says Fries had complete access and control over the payroll system and increased her hourly wage from the agreed-upon $12.50 an hour to, at times, $15 an hour. She also added and was paid out for fraudulently obtained overtime on her paychecks, even though she knew the office manager position did not qualify for any overtime monies.
The criminal complaint also says that Fries consistently intercepted money for the payment of services and would keep the money instead of depositing it in the appropriate business account.
On at least six occasions, Fries unlawfully obtained company checks and would make the checks out to herself, or in at least one instance to her husband, Mike Fries, the criminal complaint continues. Using Siemer’s signature stamp without his permission, she would authorize the checks. She would endorse the checks and cash them a short time later.
The amount of the six checks ranged from $250 to $500.
The total of the thefts Fries allegedly committed in the instances constituting theft in the 1st degree is $10,316.30.
Fries was also charged with six counts of forgery, Class D felonies, for the six instances of using Siemer’s signature stamp on the unlawfully obtained company checks.
Bail for Fries was set at $5,000