Warrant issued for woman accused of theft of more than $186,000 from employers
WORTHINGTON - A warrant was issued Friday afternoon for the arrest of Charlene Jane Long, who is charged in Nobles County District Court with 11 felony-level counts of theft from her former place of employment.
According to the criminal complaint, a detective from the Worthington Police Department met with Radio Works co-owner Chad Cummings in November regarding alleged employee theft. Cummings told the detective he believed Long had appropriated a large sum of money from Radio Works while performing bookkeeping duties for the business.
Cummings said Long had worked for the business for years, but a decision to outsource bookkeeping duties had been made two months earlier. Cummings told the detective Long was unhappy about the change in her duties, and upset when she was required to provide log-in information for the Radio Works bank accounts.
The new accounting firm discovered Long had been paying herself commissions, according to the Quick Books records. Long was a salaried employee and not entitled to commissions, according to Cummings.
He told the detective he met with Long November 27, 2017 and asked her about his suspicion of misappropriated funds. She allegedly admitted to paying herself commissions of approximately $20,000. The accounting firm reviewed payments to Long from 2012 to 2017, and discovered Long had paid herself more than $44,000 in unauthorized wages and more than $142,000 in unauthorized commission during the 2012-2017 time period.
The figures varied by year, but got progressively larger as time went by. In 2017 alone, she is accused of paying herself an unauthorized $91,000. The total amount over the time period is just under $187,000.
The detective attempted to contact Long, but voicemails he left for her gained no response. He later learned she had moved from Worthington to Sioux Falls, SD.
Long, age 58, is formerly of Worthington and rural Nobles County. Her current whereabouts are unknown, prompting the Nobles County Attorney's Office to request the arrest warrant.