CLEARWATER – An employee of Paramedics Plus, provider of Pinellas County’s Sunstar ambulance service, surrendered herself at the county jail Oct. 23 on charges she redirected about $52,000 of her employer’s money to her own use.
Meghan Anne Zewen, 37, of St. Petersburg was charged with grand theft of more than $100,000. She was booked in the Pinellas County Jail and released the next day on her own recognizance.
Detectives say the accounting irregularities were discovered in a recent audit and brought to the attention of Sheriff’s Office detectives who initiated an investigation.
Zewen was hired as the Human Resources benefits coordinator for Paramedics Plus (Sunstar) in May 2009. In the capacity of her job, she had access to company payroll records and health insurance plan records for Paramedics Plus (Sunstar) employees.
Detectives say she diverted funds by manipulating payroll deductions, creating a health plan fund for a non-existent employee, requesting overages in insurance plan funds – then keeping the excess funds for herself.
Detectives say Ms. Zewen was cooperative when confronted with the investigative evidence and admitted to the offense. She advised that the money was not recoverable as she used it to pay bills, shore up financial problems, and reportedly for a substance abuse problem.