Utah Worker Accused of Embezzling More than $95,000 in Public Funds

Tracey Schmidtke
Stansbury Service Agency

An office manager for Stansbury Service Agency in Tooele County, Utah, is accused of embezzling at least $95,000 in public funds.

Tracey Leigh Schmidtke, 59, is accused of creating a PayPal account in the name of Stansbury Park and transferring more than $40,000 in funds to her personal checking account over three months, KSTU reported.

She also allegedly used her employer-issued credit card to purchase more than $61,000 in items off Amazon, Domino’s, eHarmony, Stitch Fix, Urban Outfitters, Twitch, and “many others” since May, according to a probable cause statement.

The affidavit of probable cause also states that she was transferring money to her son, who lives outside of Utah.

“It’s been going on for some time, I’m not sure how long. We have a forensic accountant looking into all our books and records,” Stansbury Service Area board chair Mike Johnson told the Salt Lake Tribune. “It will be a substantial amount, that’s all I’m going to say.”

The service agency is a governing board for the unincorporated Stansbury Park, collecting its revenue from property taxes and user fees at facilities like golf courses, swimming pools, and clubhouses.

Johnson said the agency’s total annual budget is $2 billion.

An employee first noticed an issue with the district’s finances when he tried to buy electrical equipment on November 13.

“His service agency credit card was declined, so he went to the credit union to see why,” Johnson said. “That’s when we knew we had a problem.”

The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office then arrested Schmidtke on November 15, charging her with two second-degree felonies, including theft and fraudulent use of a transaction card. She was also charged with forgery, a third-degree felony.

In an interview with the police, Schmidtke admitted she made these fraudulent transactions and tried to cover them up for nearly a year by making fraudulent invoices from businesses to cover the charges, KTVX reported.

A judge set Schmidtke’s bail at $50,000, required her to surrender her passport, ordered that she not hide or sell any property, and forced her to wear an ankle monitor.

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