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A former Allina Health vice president suspected of embezzling $269,000 from the company has been charged with seven counts of theft.

In May, Allina Health grew suspicious that David Matthew Johnson of Inver Grove Heights had been submitting false mileage and personal reimbursement reports. Johnson, 53, was vice president of talent and human resource services for the Minneapolis-based health giant.

The complaint against Johnson only accounts for alleged crimes committed within the five-year statute of limitations. Allina investigators believe he began embezzling money from the company around 2004, and that the total amount stolen since is close to $775,000.

Johnson, who could not be reached for comment, is expected to make his first appearance Feb. 14 in Hennepin County District Court. The case against him began when Allina employees noticed his mileage expenses were disproportionate to those of other workers, according to the complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court.

They compared dates and times of meetings that Johnson said he was attending with his work schedule and his entrances and exits from the company's parking garage. Many of the alleged meetings were out of town. The investigation found that many of the meetings never happened or Johnson was not in attendance, the complaint said.

In filing false expense reports, Johnson allegedly used invoices involving the name of a printing company. For instance, he forwarded one invoice for payment to the printing company for $2,850. Investigators said he added a zero to the original invoice, which was actually for $285. Johnson also allegedly used his corporate credit card to submit ticket expenses for sports events, the complaint said.

In May, when Johnson couldn't prove the validity of his expense reports, he was placed on administrative leave and escorted from Allina's headquarters building. He was later fired.

Allina Health System is one of Minnesota's largest operators of hospitals and clinics, including Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and United Hospital in St. Paul.

The investigation of Johnson's alleged embezzlement was led by the Minnesota Department of Commerce's Fraud Bureau.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003