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Medina Man Commits Fraud worth $275,000

A Medina man was named in a 22-count indictment, charged with stealing approximately $275,000 from his employer and using the money to pay for a country club membership, vehicles and purchases at Victoria’s Secret and GNC, according to law enforcement.

Brian K. Stepp, 50, was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, making false statements and other charges. Rachel M. Penn, 41, of Wellington, was also indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.

Stepp and Penn worked together at Variety Contractors, Inc., a company based in Medina County that provided general contracting services for large public and commercial retail construction projects in Ohio and other states.

Stepp joined the company as vice president and eventually was promoted to acting president, although the company owner retained ultimate decision-making authority.Penn worked in the company’s accounting department. Her duties included reviewing expense claims submitted by employees and issuing reimbursement checks, according to the indictment.

Stepp and Penn conspired together between February 2014 and May 2015 to defraud Variety Contractor.

Stepp incorporated S&S Kelsey LN, a shell company that did not engage in any actual business. He submitted a variety of fake invoiced from S&S and other vendors to Variety Contractors of goods and services that were not provided. Stepp and Penn caused Variety Contractors to make payments on those fraudulent invoices, according to the indictment.

For example, in September 2014, a check request for $31,500 was made for payment to G.C.I. for “Deposit for Exterior Metal Panels”. Three days later, Penn issued a check in the same amount made payable to Ganley, which Penn knew that Stepp used to partially pay for a 2015 Chevy Silverado pickup truck that he purchased in his wife’s name, according to the indictment.

Stepp also fraudulently used a company credit card to pay for personal expenses, such as membership and related fees at Weymouth Country Club, payments made to purchase vehicles to himself and his family, local hotel charges, legal fees, and charges at stores including Victoria’s Secret and GNC, according to the indictment.

The loss to Variety Contractors was approximately $275,000, according to the indictment.

Stepp also made numerous false statements in attempting to get several loans, according to the indictment.