Manager convicted for theft
Published 8:00 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The Benton Harbor resident accused of embezzling thousands from his employers at Myers Super Value Store was found guilty by a Van Buren County jury late last month.
Kevin Burger, 44, was convicted of three felony counts of embezzlement over $1,000 but less than $20,000, breaking and entering, and larceny in a building during his trial at the Van Buren County courthouse in Paw Paw.
A panel of jurors delivered their guilty verdict the morning of June 25, following two days worth of testimony and presentation of evidence by the prosecution and defense.
Burger’s conviction stems from his time as a manager of the Sister Lakes supermarket, located on M-152. An employee of the business for over a decade, the Benton Harbor man was given responsibility of accounting for daily revenue from each of the supermarket’s departments at the end of each of his shifts, a power that he used to skim money from the company’s earnings, said Van Buren County Assistant Prosecutor Michael McKay.
“He would skew all the numbers for the day,” McKay said. “For example, he would say that the meat department had brought in $3,000 for the day, when it really made $3,500. He would then pocket the $500 that he didn’t report.”
His fraudulent reporting was eventually discovered by the storeowners, who fired Burger and issued him a no-trespass notice. Following his termination, on Nov. 30, Burger was let into the building by an employee who hadn’t heard of his termination. Burger proceeded to steal over a year’s worth of sales records that he presumably doctored, McKay said.
“Because of that, we’ll never really know how much [money] he took from the store,” McKay said.
The break-in and theft resulted in Van Buren County prosecutors charging him with breaking and entering, and larceny in a building.
During the course of the trial, the prosecution presented testimony from the supermarket’s owners and several employees. The prosecution was able to prove that, in just a two-week period, Burger had embezzled $2,500 from his employers.
Burger is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 24, in front of Judge Kathleen Brickley. On top of having to serve probation and pay restitution for his actions, the Van Buren prosecutor would like to see Burger serve jail time for his actions, McKay said.
“What he did was pretty egregious,” he said. “It’s a victim crime. The Myers family is out of a lot money because of his actions.”