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Accountant admits stealing $500,000 from office furniture employer

Monday 8 November 2010

LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- An accountant pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing more than $500,000 from the office furniture supply company where he worked, a spokesman for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said.


Ryan Kratz, 37, of Brunswick, admitted in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court that he wrote company checks to himself and to cash as part of a scheme that began in 2004, said spokesman Ryan Miday.

Kratz also used the company credit card for personal use.

Cuyahoga Companies, a Lakewood company that sells office furniture and supplies, caught onto the scheme after it received an $850 bill from an area gas station, Miday said.

The charges were for repairs to Kratz\'s personal vehicle, he said.

A company audit found Kratz, who was was responsible for keeping its books and oversaw transactions, wrote numerous checks for his personal use, then covered his tracks by noting the transactions as payouts to vendors, according to Miday.

Lakewood Police and the prosecutor\'s office are continuing to investigate whether Kratz had an accomplice.

Kratz pleaded guilty to theft by deception, tampering with records, misuse of credit cards and falsification.

He faces a maximum sentence of 16 and a half years

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