Police: Former bookkeeper for South Salt Lake business charged with felony forgery, fraud after evidence links her to $220K in missing funds

File photo: Flickr/Edward Kimmel

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, Dec. 5, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A former bookkeeper for a South Salt Lake business has been charged with five felonies after evidence linked her to $220,000 in missing funds.

Janet Medina Fawson, 39, had worked for Retro Custom Metals, a sheet metal company, at 472 W. 3440 South.

The business owners first discovered evidence of fraud in mid-July, Fawson’s probable cause statement says.

“They identified former employee Janet Fawson as a possible suspect and provided documentation of four forged checks written out to Janet,” says a probable cause statement filed by an officer of the South Salt Lake Police Department. The owner said the checks were signed with his name, but the signature was not his.

“”Three of the checks were written in such a way that they would appear to be regular payroll checks, but documentation proves that Janet also received payroll direct
deposits to her account in addition to those checks. Janet was in charge of payroll for the company and was in a position to write the checks and make the deposits. The fourth check was written for an amount well over eight times Janet’s normal pay amount.”

The four checks totaled $11,214.92.

“The victims also discovered fraudulent activity on their business credit card account. The card record shows thirty-seven payments to a vendor labeled ‘Sheffield Metals Cleveland,’ which closely matches the listed name of an actual
supplier ‘Sheffield Metals International.'”

The checks went to an account not associated with the supplier. The total amount of the
payments was $209,892.91.

Post Miranda, Fawson told investigators she forged one check, “but didn’t remember where the others came from. She admitted that she had created the Square UP account
and sent payments to that account from the company credit card. She said she then transferred money from Square UP to her two bank accounts and also used a Square UP debit card to access the access the money for personal use.”

Fawson faces charges of:

  • Theft — value equal or exceeds $5,000, a second-degree felony
  • Communications fraud, a second-degree felony
  • Knowingly use false financial transaction care for credit/goods, a second-degree felony
  • Pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony
  • Forgery, a third-degree felony

Fawson was arrested on Nov. 30 by the South Salt Lake Police Department. Her bail was set at $500. She is no longer in custody, a records search shows.


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