MN Woman Suspected of Embezzling $800k from Practice; Cites Financial Difficulties

Shirley Marie Dunn

A onetime office manager for an Edina dental practice stole nearly $400,000 from her employer and possibly much more for lavish out of town trips, superstar concerts, her children’s school fees and other items, according to charges filed Monday and other court records.

Shirley M. Dunn, 45, of Shakopee, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with seven counts of felony theft by swindle in connection with the roughly $395,000 she stole from York Dental from 2015 until she was fired in the fall of 2018.

However, a search warrant affidavit listing a vast and varied array of purchases reveals that police suspect her thievery began years earlier and totaled somewhere north of $800,000.

Dunn was charged by summons and has a court appearance scheduled for Aug. 11. Dunn said she was unaware that charges were filed and declined to comment about the allegations.

The search warrant affidavit filed five months after she was fired alleged that “Dunn conducted approximately $175,000 in unauthorized transactions on her company-issued credit card and found approximately $680,000 in missing deposits.”

The affidavit pointed to many suspicious purchases Dunn made dating back to 2012 that police connected to postings on her Facebook page. They include:

• Trips with friends to the Sanctuary Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

• A limo ride for three girls heading to a Justin Bieber concert.

• Attendance at a Luke Bryan concert in Minneapolis.

• A visit to Los Angeles and “Endless Mimosas and brunch,” according to a comment accompanying a photo on her Facebook page.

“Dunn was living well beyond her means, which is a motive for why she was embezzling money from York Dental and making unauthorized transactions on the company credit card,” the affidavit read.

The affidavit also revealed $16,000 spent on beauty supplies, about $2,600 for iTunes and roughly $26,000 at clothing retailers.

According to the criminal complaint:

Dunn joined York Dental as office manager for its main Edina location and Shakopee clinic, and was responsible for much of the business’ accounting responsibilities.

One of York Dental’s owners determined that Dunn had been using a business credit card for personal uses. She admitted to the misuse and was fired in October 2018.

The auditor discovered that “most of the cash received by the practice had not been deposited and that the dental practice sustained a significant loss,” the charges read.

Authorities also reviewed records for Dunn’s business credit card, and York Dental identified many unauthorized charges. They were for flights for her and her boyfriend, dry cleaning, dining and her children’s school fees.

Her Amazon account also showed purchases for cosmetics, jewelry, clothing, home decor and other items “not related to the dental practice,” the charges continued.

The criminal complaint also said that Dunn “had financial difficulties,” which the charging document did not address in specificity.

At the time the charges were filed, Dunn was working as an office manager for an unspecified landscape company.

Content retrieved from: https://www.startribune.com/onetime-office-manager-suspected-of-stealing-at-least-800k-from-edina-dental-practice/571921232/