TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Clearwater car dealership employee was arrested on Wednesday after she allegedly gave herself over $28,000 in unauthorized bonuses.
Ariel Rutenbeck, 32, of Largo, worked for Dimmitt Chevrolet, 25485 U.S. Highway 19 North, and was one of two people who had access to the business’ payroll system, according to an affidavit. The report did not mention her title or why she was given access to the system.
Police said a payroll audit showed discrepancies in Rutenbeck’s checks. She allegedly gave herself multiple unauthorized bonuses.
Police said she collected a total of $28,179.22 in bonuses between May 2020 and July 2022.
“The CFO said the company would not conduct routine audits unless there was suspicious activity observed, which is why this had not been caught before,” the affidavit stated. “He showed in paperwork how recently the amount the defendant was paying to herself had contained large figures, which were concerning and more noticeable.”
According to the affidavit, Rutenbeck turned herself into the Pinellas County Jail on Wednesday. She was arrested on a grand theft charge and released on a $5,000 bond.