A 44-year-old woman stole nearly $80,000 from a Burnsville nonprofit health care clinic where she worked after a colleague detected that some of the money was spent on Taylor Swift concert tickets, authorities said.
Alia J. Pranke, of Farmington, was charged Monday in Dakota County District Court with three counts of theft by swindle for allegedly embezzling from the clinic for the past few years.
The complaint did not identify the clinic, but staff members for Dakota Child and Family Clinic confirmed Wednesday that their nonprofit was the victim of Pranke’s thefts. The clinic’s mission is to provide health care to people of all ages, regardless of ability to pay.
In the midst of the alleged thefts, clinic management told police, the nonprofit was struggling financially and threatened with eviction.
Executive Director Miranda Noll said Wednesday that the clinic’s “commitment to providing quality health care services continues.”
“We are a small organization, and this situation has been personally devastating to us,” she said.
Police were alerted to the thefts in late January after a clinic employee provided police with photos he had taken of credit cards and incriminating documents in Pranke’s car.
The employee also told police that he saw a clinic bank statement with charges for Taylor Swift concert tickets, making him realize “that something was wrong,” according to the criminal complaint. He also provided photos from an Amazon account with suspicious purchases charged to the clinic, the complaint continued.
As the finance director for Dakota Child and Family Clinic, Pranke oversaw payroll and had unsupervised access to the nonprofit’s accounts since April 2017.
A clinic review of its books revealed Pranke had been writing checks to herself and making unauthorized ATM withdrawals, the complaint read.
Police learned that she bought 330 items in about eight months on her Amazon account, and had 14 of the items shipped to the clinic, according to the charges.
Pranke was charged by summons and has an Oct. 15 court date. Messages were left Wednesday with Pranke seeking her response to the allegations.