MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You’ve likely seen the coupon magazine Dollars and Sense in the mail before, but you won’t read about this next story when you take a look inside.
The owner of Dollars and Sense says a former employee stole nearly a quarter of a million dollars from the company.
He called the police, but he says what happened next left him feeling victimized twice.
As a coupon mailer that goes out to one million households in the seven-county metro, Dollars and Sense has just a few contract employees.
Sales staff sell ads then bill the magazine’s owner for a 15 to 20 percent of commission.
Owner Glen Nallick says the salesman in question in this case also started keeping all of the books just a few months after he was hired.
“We let him do it all right over there on the computer, and that’s how the whole thing started,” Nallick said.
That whole thing, Nallick says, included that salesman recording fictitious sales.
“The rest of it was all free ads and he wrote out the commissions and took the money with him without the money being in the bank or the system,” Nallick said.
Essentially, the salesman was collecting commissions on ads he never sold.
Nallick says it amounted to $70,000 over two years, costing the company another $120,000 for printing ads that were never paid for.
“I got embezzled. It’s that simple,” Nallick said.
Nallick first reported the case to the Edina Police Department in the winter of 2014. Six months later in May, a detective met with Nallick to take the information.
“I just kind of had to get in line…and I didn’t have a problem with that as long as we got to justice,” Nallick.
Last July, the police report shows the detective spoke to the salesman by phone. The salesman reportedly said that he did not file factitious sales.
For months, emails went back and forth between the detective and Nallick.
In March, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office requested more financial documents. Then in May, Nallick learned by email that prosecutors had declined the case “as they had not heard back in a timely manner.”
Nallick had been in the hospital but says he kept compiling the information investigators wanted.
“It’s just they stiffed us at the finish line,” Nallick said.
After running a debt-free business, Nallick took out a loan to get by. He admits he should have caught the alleged scheme sooner but also trusted the system to see this through.
“I didn’t have a problem with it taking a long time because I had the patience for that, but when all of a sudden they reversed order and say, Oh, you move too slow, we’re not going to take the case now, after they have us dragged out for a year-and-a-half, it’s just not professional,” Nallick said.
We’re not naming the salesman because he wasn’t charged.
The county attorney’s office says it could take another look at prosecuting the salesman if Nallick provides documents needed to prove the case.
The salesman no longer works for Dollars and Sense.