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Former Havre hotel manager is charged


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A former Havre hotel manager is charged with embezzling from the business.

Deputy Hill County Attorney Cindee Fauss Wednesday filed a charge of theft by embezzlement, alleging that Robert Field stole more than $21,500 from TownHouse Inns of Havre while he was manager of the business. Field is scheduled to be arraigned in state District Court in Havre on Nov. 6.

Field, now of Grenora, N.D., was released on his own recognizance.

The hotel's operations manager, Cathy McDonald, told Havre police Lt. George Tate on May 31 that $12,000 of the hotel's money had not been deposited between March and May 15, when Field was suspended as manager for removing accounting paperwork from the hotel, the criminal complaint said.

The complaint said Tate found that the amounts received by the hotel, reported in its night audit slips, did not match the amounts deposited in many instances between June 18, 2001, and May 10. McDonald told Tate that Field was the only person in the hotel who handled those accounts, the complaint said.

Tate found that two schemes were used to embezzle $20,895.25 from the deposits, the complaint said. Both involved using checks, known as direct bill checks, that should have been credited to several large accounts, including the Havre Police Department and Havre Public Schools, for use of the TownHouse facilities, the complaint said.

In some cases, the complaint alleged, Field made a new deposit slip for a deposit prepared by another employee, substituting a direct bill check for cash and then taking the cash. In others, Field prepared the deposit himself, substituting the direct bill checks for cash in the deposit, the complaint said.

Tate noticed that Field's handwriting was not on all of the deposit slips on days with discrepancies, but manager Michelle Burchard, who replaced Field, had told him that Field would sometimes prepare the deposit, bundling the checks and cash, and have someone else fill out the deposit slip, the complaint said.

Field was the only person handling the direct bill checks during the time in question, the complaint said.

Tate also found that on May 10, a total of $627.50 was reported refunded to six customers but the customers denied receiving refunds, the complaint said.


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