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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Infotrac employee accused of stealing $400,000 in commission scam

Randy Brett Lee
Randy Brett Lee

A longtime employee of Infotrac Inc. is accused of stealing more than $400,000 from the Leesburg-based company by fudging sales and commission reports.

Randy Brett Lee, 52, of Howey-in-the-Hills, was arrested Thursday and charged with grand theft of more than $10,000 and scheme to defraud of more than $50,000. He bonded out of Lake County Jail hours later for $35,000 and will appear in Lake County Court on Oct. 10.

Infotrac Inc., located at 200 N. Palmetto St., is a hazardous material response and compliance company. According to the probable cause affidavit, Lee was employed by the company for more than 25 years and most recently was director of marketing. He entered into a five-year, self-renewing contract in 2011 that paid him $165,000 per year and established commission criteria. Lee’s job was to bring in new clients and renew existing clients. With the significant increase in salary, certain sales were no longer eligible for commissions.

Lee was in the second year of his second renewal in April when the company president was made aware of an email from Lee authorizing 12.5 percent commission payments to two other employees for helping Lee during an extended absence for a chronic medical condition. The president said he didn’t know anything about the additional funds being paid to the employees and never approved the payments, the affidavit said.

This triggered an internal investigation of company practices and procedures, and the company president reviewed company reports, according to the affidavit.

Under the contract, Lee received commission for new accounts, but not for renewals. The investigation discovered that Lee would review the renewal list every month, highlight various accounts and have the accounting team to change them to new accounts because the clients planned to cancel before he “saved” them, the affidavit said.

The investigation also showed that Lee would regularly receive company income reports, highlight certain accounts and add handwritten percentages next to them to indicate what he wanted added to his commissions. The company president said he never authorized these handwritten percentages as additional commissions, according to the affidavit.

The investigation continued and more layers to the scheme were uncovered. In early May, the company president called Lee and asked him about three accounts, and Lee replied that he couldn’t say until he saw the accounts. Later that day, Lee was observed taking items off his office walls and packing up his belongings. When asked what he was doing, Lee said he was taking a 10-day PTO. The president asked who takes items off the walls when going on a 10-day PTO and Lee said, “I won’t quit! You will have to fire me!” the affidavit said.

The company president told Lee he had no intention of firing him at that time. He took Lee to lunch and they discussed FMLA and short-term disability related to Lee’s chronic condition. They returned to the office, Lee left and never returned to work. The president said he hasn’t seen Lee since then, according to the affidavit.

Meanwhile, the accounting manager reported that Lee had made it known that he was “untouchable.” She said she was warned by the previous accounting manager to “play the game” and not to do anything to upset Lee. The accounting manager said she heard about other employees who went against Lee and were either no longer with the company or treated badly if they remained. She said she was intimidated by Lee and tried to avoid conflict and confrontation, the affidavit said.

The accounting manager said on May 2, after Lee was questioned by the president and vice president about his activities, Lee walked by her office and called her a “(expletive deleted) bitch.” He later denied making the comment and started clearing out his office, according to the affidavit.

Multiple other employees provided information about Lee’s fraudulent activities. An audit showed Lee took approximately $400,000 in unauthorized, unearned salary between 2018 and 2022, the affidavit said.

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