MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 49-year-old Inver Grove Heights woman is accused of swindling money from her employer to support a gambling addiction, according to charges filed Wednesday in Dakota County Court.

Kathleen Ann Hardgrave was charged with five felony counts of theft by swindle in connection with the case. The thefts occurred from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2012.

According to the charges, law enforcement spoke with a company executive in Burnsville about an employee theft. Hardgrave had worked as a dispatcher for the company since 2001 and in April 2014, the executive noticed that an inordinate number of voided tickets and checks had been altered by her.

A further investigation showed she had been manipulating the company’s accounting system since 2010. She allegedly stole nearly $150,000 from the company. Of that total, she had stolen nearly $88,000 from the company from 2012 to 2014 in six-month periods.

Hardgrave admitted the thefts to police and told them how she was able to steal the money over the years. She said the $150,000 stolen over the years was to fund her gambling addiction.

If convicted on all counts, Hardgrave faces up to 50 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

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