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Woman accused of stealing $50,000 from DL business

A Pelican Rapids woman accused of stealing just under $50,000 from a Detroit Lakes business while she was employed there made her first appearance Monday in Becker County District Court on six felony counts of property theft (over $5,000).

Maria Luisa Quita Gannon, 58, of No. 18 6th St. NE, Pelican Rapids, allegedly gave herself unauthorized raises and benefits while she was employed by Travel Travel and Magnum Belize Tours of Detroit Lakes between 2009 and 2011.

According to the criminal complaint, Gannon was hired at Travel Travel/Magnum Belize Tours in July 2002 at a rate of $12 per hour, and received one raise to $13 per hour while she was employed there, plus receiving four hours a month of sick leave and 10 hours a month of vacation time.

One of Gannon's responsibilities was to handle payroll, according to the complaint. While she was on vacation in March of 2011, her employer discovered some unauthorized activities in the company's business accounts.

This prompted her employer to conduct an investigation of Gannon's activities, and she discovered that Gannon had given herself unauthorized raises and job perks including "familiarization trips," as well as reimbursing herself for hours she did not work.

According to the complaint, Gannon received over $48,000 in unearned salary and benefits between Jan. 1, 2009 and Nov. 22, 2011.

She has been released on $25,000 bond pending her next court appearance, at a July 2 Rule 8 hearing.