BRISTOL - A Manchester woman has received probation for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a local motorcycle business.
Kerri Kowalski, 41, was sentenced on Tuesday in New Britain Superior Court. The sentence she received includes no prison time.
Instead, the 41-year-old was sentenced to five years of probation with 10 years of jail time hanging over her head if she were to violate any conditions.
Kowalski in May pleaded guilty to one felony count of second-degree larceny. The larceny charge was reduced from that of the first-degree.
According to the warrant for her arrest, police said Kowalski was a bookkeeper at Yankee Harley-Davidson, at 488 Farmington Ave., when she stole around $305,000 between July 2014 and late 2017. Police believe she changed the cost of items in the business’ computer system to make it appear as though there was no profit margin on cash transactions, the warrant said. The difference was pocketed by Kowalski, police said.
It was reported to police that Kowalski - who no longer works at Yankee Harley-Davidson - had been running this scheme since 2011, and that the total loss to the business was actually around $670,000, according to the warrant. Police wrote in the document that the statute of limitations in Connecticut prevented them from pursuing anything that happened before July 2014.
Investigators began looking into the embezzlement allegations in March 2018, not long after the business was sold. The previous owner made a report to police, launching an investigation.
When police spoke to Kowalski about the allegations, she initially denied any involvement. Investigators confronted her with bookkeeping records that showed the ledger changes only occurred when she was working, according to the warrant. Kowalski then alleged that she did take money from the business, but only because the owner had been divorced from his wife and became “greedy,” the warrant said. She said she was only paid a small fraction of what was taken, the warrant continued.
Police spoke to the owner, who denied this allegation and reaffirmed that anything he was paid from the business was documented. He has not been charged. Police said they did not find any evidence to corroborate the allegation that the owner was involved.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.