St. George man allegedly embezzles $16,000 by falsifying payroll reports

Stock image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man was arrested on eight felony charges Wednesday after he allegedly used a web of deception to fraudulently pay himself nearly $16,000 by falsifying payroll reports at a St. George business.

Jonathan Michael Heck, 27, had been working as the human resources director for Chrysalis, a company providing a continuum of care, support and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to live, work and participate more fully in the community.

Jonathan Michael Heck, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted April 27, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Jonathan Michael Heck, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted April 27, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Heck allegedly used personal identifying information from at least four former Chrysalis employees to fill out fraudulent timesheets between August 2015 and January 2016, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of the arrest.

These former employees had been new hires who had only worked with Chrysalis for one day or a few weeks before leaving the company, the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement.

Chrysalis officials began to catch on to the deception and reported the alleged crime to the police.

Chrysalis representatives said that as the human resources director, Heck was in a unique position to enter each of the employee’s information into the company’s payroll system, submit the employee’s timesheets and distribute Global Cash Cards used as debit cards for employees to receive their payment for time worked, the report stated.

When police interviewed the former employees regarding the fraudulent timesheets, the officer stated, the former employees said they had only worked for Chrysalis for a short period of time and that they had never received payment from Chrysalis.

When shown the timesheets, the former employees said they didn’t work at Chrysalis for most of the listed dates, adding that they hadn’t filled out many of the submitted timesheets and that the signatures on the sheets in question were not theirs, according to the statement.

“The total amount of money obtained from these four employees on these fraudulent timesheets is $9,366.25,” the officer wrote in the statement. “The CFO for Chrysalis contacted Jon over the phone and talked to him about these fraudulent timesheets. Jon admitted to (the CFO) that he had used the former employee’s information to create these timesheets.”

Chrysalis representatives said they can also provide documents showing Heck submitted time on his own timesheets for which he hadn’t work, the report stated, and that he had obtained $6,516.49 from those falsified reports.

When questioned by police about the matter, Heck requested an attorney, according to the statement. Heck was arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Heck of second-degree felony theft by deception, along with four third-degree felony counts of identity fraud and three third-degree felony counts of forgery.

Heck was released from custody on $45,000 bail pending trial. He is scheduled to appear before 5th District Judge G. Michael Westfall Tuesday afternoon for his initial court appearance.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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