A Georgia man who once worked for Lincolnshire-based Aon Hewitt is accused of stealing millions of dollars from the company, authorities said Monday.
Ernest R Jenkins, 45, of the 3200 block of Walton Riverwood Lane in unincorporated Cobb County near Atlanta, was arrested April 6 on a warrant while visiting the Disney property in Orange County, Fla., Lincolnshire Police Investigator John-Erik Anderson said.
Jenkins is charged with theft in excess of $1 million, money laundering and computer fraud. If found guilty of the theft charge, he could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison.
He is held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $3 million bond, Anderson said, and he is due to be extradited to Illinois this week.
Anderson said Jenkins had been working as a business operations manager in the human resources company's Atlanta office and was managing what is described as a corporate stale check account. Anderson said it is a holding account for people who were issued a check but did not cash it within 90 days.
People would contact Jenkins, who would cut a new check and authorize money to be moved from the corporate stale check account into the general fund, Anderson said.
In 2010, Jenkins began authorizing to have money moved and checks issued to bank accounts he controlled, Anderson said. Officials allege Jenkins took more than $5 million from Aon Hewitt.
"The amount of money taken by what appears to be one person is quite staggering," Anderson said, adding the investigation is ongoing and more charges could be filed. The Cobb County Sheriff's Office is assisting in the case.
When Jenkins left the company in February, Aon Hewitt audited the stale check account and discovered the missing money, Anderson said.
"We recently uncovered some suspicious activity and are working closely with local law enforcement authorities to bring this issue to a quick resolution," said Maurissa Kanter, a spokeswoman with Aon Hewitt. "This is an active investigation, and we are not able to provide specific details about the situation. However, we can tell you that we have a zero-tolerance policy for fraudulent activity and take swift action for any improprieties, including appropriate legal action."