Michael Schute, who worked at Tschiggfrie Excavating from 1988 to 2013, will plead guilty to one count each of wire fraud and filing a false tax return, according to the plea agreement. Schute, who was responsible for the daily cash flow and had authority to write checks for the company, is accused of embezzling money from the company from 2008 to 2013.
According to the plea, Schute wrote company checks to pay for his personal credit card bills. He falsified ledgers to make it appear that the funds were used for company expenses to conceal his scheme.
Management at Tschiggfrie discovered the fraud in April 2013, after finding discrepancies in the expenditures reflected on the books, according to the plea. Schute confessed to the embezzlement during a phone conversation with one of the owners of Tschiggfrie. He was fired after the call.
Schute is accused of stealing about $365,417 over the five years, according to the plea agreement. During this same time period, he filed false tax returns because he failed to declare the money he embezzled. If Schute would have filed all taxable income, it would have resulted in additional taxes owed on about $86,347.
According to the plea agreement, Schute also will be required to pay full restitution to victims.
Schute faces up to 23 years in prison and up to a $500,000 in fines for both charges.