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Former Illinois Vet Clinic Employee Accused of Stealing $350,000
USAgNet - 02/21/2020

A former Decatur Animal Clinic employee is accused of stealing more than $300,000 over a span of 10-plus years.

Authorities received a report from a veterinarian at the clinic accusing Angela M. Schmitt, 34, of repeated thefts. Schmitt had been employed at the business since 2006 and was the only person in charge of financial aspects of the business.

An assistant began suspecting thefts, police said, when the cash drawer was found to be short in early December, then resolved with no explanation several days later.

Police said they examined financial information submitted by the veterinarian and found a repeated practice of the following happening:

- Client pays for services at the Decatur Animal Clinic with cash

- "Some or all" of the incoming cash is stolen

- A "negative transaction," which police defined as the vet or clinic giving or paying money to a customer, is applied to an account/accounts of different clients. This sometimes involved accounts that had been inactive for years, and the transactions always totaled the amount stolen for the day

- Balance in the client account/accounts is later adjusted back to zero after the negative transaction

The thefts dated back to 2007, police said, and records showed tens of thousands of dollars were taken each year, resulting in a grand total of $365,727.34 stolen.

According to sworn statements, records showed thefts happened on days when Schmitt was working. There were never thefts when she didn't work, and that pattern held even when she went on maternity leave from June 23 to Aug. 2 in 2009. The veterinarian eliminated other employees as suspects because fraudulent transactions were found on days when each of them didn't work, per the documents.

Police said Schmitt would always refuse to train other employees on how to create invoices and send statements to clients who had open balances at the end of the month.

Schmitt, who police arrested following their investigation earlier this week, is charged with two counts of theft. Her bail is set at $250,000 in Macon County.

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