Former employee allegedly stole $20,000 from car rental shopA Cottage Grove woman appeared in Washington County District Court Tuesday to respond to a charge that she allegedly stole $23,000 from Courtesy Car Rental in Newport.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
A Cottage Grove woman appeared in Washington County District Court Tuesday to respond to a charge that she allegedly stole $23,000 from Courtesy Car Rental in Newport.
Tammy J. Oberg, 43, allegedly took checks written to the business, where she had worked for five years, and put them into her own accounts between February and September of 2006, according to the court complaint.
Owner Tim Murphy told police he had noticed something strange with his business accounts and told Oberg that he was bringing in an accountant to check the books on Oct. 2, 2006, according to the court complaint. On the same day, Oberg left a note stating she was no longer an employee at the business, Murphy told police.
The complaint lists 11 checks, most of which were marked as payable to Courtesy Car Rental, that were deposited into Oberg and her husband’s personal checking account, or checking accounts for the business she and her husband own.
Murphy told police that the transactions were completed through Wells Fargo automated teller machines, according to the court complaint.
Oberg was charged with one count of theft, for which she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Oberg was also charged recently with check forgery for allegedly altering a check written out to Oberg Auto to make it appear to be worth $7,000 more than it was actually written out for.
In September of last year, Oberg allegedly altered a check made out to the business for brake repair. She allegedly wrote a seven in front of the numbers 121.50 on the check, and then wrote in a 71 in front of the words “hundred and twenty-one dollars 50 cents,” according to the court complaint.
An employee at Anchor Bank in St. Paul Park suspected the check was fraudulent and reported it to police, according to the complaint. The check had been left in the bank’s night deposit box. The person who wrote the check told police she had written it for $121.50, according to the court complaint.
When a St. Paul Park officer later went to the auto repair shop and showed Oberg the check, she said “Oh yeah, that. That check is junk. You can just throw it away,” according to the complaint. While the officer was there, Oberg’s husband, Bruce, came into the office to ask what the problem was. Bruce Oberg looked briefly at the check, but Tammy Oberg did not tell her husband what the problem with the check was, she only stated, “You remember it, the brake job last week,” according to the complaint. The officer noticed that Tammy Oberg was nervous about discussing the issue with Bruce Oberg, according to the complaint.
Tammy Oberg told the officer that she added the numbers to the check by mistake. She said the check was underneath another check, and that she was writing with a very sharp-tipped pen that cut through the check on top, according to the complaint. The next day, Tammy Oberg took a torn-up check for $71 to the police officer and told him that was the check she had written out over the other one, according to the complaint.
For the check forgery charge, Tammy Oberg faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. Her next appearance for both charges is May 29.