During a five-year period, Donna Lynn Hartmann, a bookkeeper for QMC Plastics Machin-ery in Eden Prairie, Minn., forged checks and embezzled money in excess of $320,000 on the company's account, company officials allege. Hartmann was charged April 22 with eight counts of ``theft by swindle over $35,000'' in Henne-pin County District Court and was released on her own recognizance. According to the criminal complaint, Hartmann forged checks to pay personal bills and made checks out to herself to be deposited into her personal accounts.
``With the money, she bought such things as horses, horse trailers, trainers, trucks and equipment,'' said Don Qually, vice president.
Hartmann has an unpublished telephone number and could not be reached her for comment.
QMC is a manufacturers' representative for injection molding, extrusion and auxiliary equipment.
Qually said that at the end of November 1994, Hartmann told him of the forging and embezzlement because a new company accountant had asked to meet with her to discuss discrepancies in bank statements. Qually then reviewed the company's ledgers and said he discovered Hartmann had been forging checks with Qually's and President Dennis McNevin's name even before she was authorized to write checks. She had been writing the checks since 1989 and received authorization in 1992, he said.
Hartmann was released from QMC on Dec. 1, 1994. McNevin alerted police Feb. 23, 1995, and QMC pressed criminal and civil charges.
Although QMC won the civil case and was to be awarded property and money, Hartmann has appealed the ruling.
The complaint said Hartmann recorded the forged checks in the ledger as void or listed them as business expenses and continued to do so after she was allowed to sign the checks herself. In addition, she allegedly double-billed the company for her pay.