Twin Cities and federal authorities are investigating allegations of embezzlement at St. Paul’s Town & Country Club.
The investigation was opened this week after police met with officials from the private club, St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders said Friday. Authorities cannot discuss the scope of the embezzlement, who may be responsible or how long it might have been underway, he said.
Town & Country Club general manager Vincent Tracy said in a statement that he couldn’t provide details either.
“Town & Country Club is working with the St. Paul Police Department to investigate an incident involving its financial accounts,” Tracy wrote. “In cooperation with this investigation, we are unable to share details at this time.”
A police report for the investigation lists the possible “date and time of occurrence” of the alleged crime as Jan. 1, 2010, to Dec. 2 of this year. The report lists Tracy as the complainant, but provides no other information about the investigation.
Tracy did not return messages seeking comment. A representative from PadillaCRT, a public relations company working with the club, said the club would provide no other information beyond Tracy’s written statement. Nor would it confirm the authenticity of a letter sent to the Star Tribune, from Tracy’s club e-mail address, that purported to be a message from club President Dan O’Brien to club members on Thursday.
However, several members confirmed they received an e-mail from the club about the investigation.
“On Dec. 2, 2016, evidence of potentially significant financial improprieties involving the club were discovered,” O’Brien’s letter said. “Furthermore, the executive committee of the club’s board of directors has retained outside resources to assist in the investigation and to support the finance function on an interim basis. While we anticipate ... the extent of potential financial exposure to the club to be significant, we do not yet know the full scope of this incident.”
The letter said that the club is financially sound and that there was “no reason to believe this incident will affect our ability to fund our operations.” However, the letter said, the investigation will postpone a planned expansion.
The club was unable to share its annual financial information with members on Friday because of the criminal investigation, according to the letter. “Furthermore, we are committed to providing our members with updates at regular increments as the investigation progresses,” the letter said.
Linders said St. Paul police are leading the investigation with help from the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force and the U.S. Secret Service. No arrests have been made.
The club, at 300 Mississippi River Blvd. N., has an 18-hole golf course, an indoor golf learning center, clay tennis courts, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, dining areas and meeting and banquet space, according to its website.
The site relates its history: “As the first ‘country club’ in these parts, Town & Country Club was more of a social organization inspired by the clubs in St. Paul that were formed as a nucleus of the annual Winter Carnival. A residence on Lake Como was the first clubhouse in 1887. The Club moved to its present home at the Marshall Avenue Bridge on the Mississippi River in 1890.”
Staff writers Karen Zamora and Beatrice Dupuy contributed to this report.