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Woman agrees to pay back portion of funds embezzled from GH builder

Becky Vargo • Oct 9, 2018 at 7:00 AM

A Muskegon woman faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to embezzling more than $100,000 from a Grand Haven builder.

Jessica Kreason, 39, remains free on bond until she is sentenced Dec. 12 in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

Judge Jon Hulsing told Kreason to make sure she paid the rest of the agreed-upon $107,000 restitution prior to that date. She has so far paid $23,000.

“If she pays the rest, the court will take that into consideration,” Hulsing said during Monday’s plea hearing.

Assistant Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney John Scheurle said that the total amount taken was actually $719,000, but that the builder agreed to the lower amount in order to recoup some of his loss.

The criminal complaint alleges Kreason stole more than $700,000 from her former employer, Hamstra Building LLC of Grand Haven, while employed there as a part-time bookkeeper from 2008-14.

In a lawsuit settled earlier this year for $107,000, Kreason was alleged to have channeled money from her employer, to herself, her husband and other businesses in an amount totaling a little more than $1 million. The lawsuit claimed that Kreason intercepted the building company’s mail, coerced accountants into not performing audits, maxed-out the company credit cards, fraudulently obtained lines of credits in the company’s name, drained the company’s bank accounts, did not pay company suppliers and subcontractors, informed the IRS that the company operations had ceased and not to expect anymore tax payments, created fake business expenditures, created fraudulent business projects, and funneled money to the co-defendants.

In May 2014, the Hamstras received a notification from PNC Bank that their debit card was being used at the Gun Lake Casino. An audit was conducted and revealed the missing money. Kreason was then fired.

The lawsuit was filed in December 2016. A warrant for Kreason’s arrest was issued this past March.

The builder has declined to comment, other than to note that business is continuing as usual for his construction company.

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