Former Sylvan Learning employee accused of stealing company funds

A former employee of Sylvan Learning in McAllen was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing more than $150,000 from the company.

Jennifer Lyn Funk, 47, was booked into the Hidalgo County jail Monday on one count of theft and 15 counts of forgery after Federico Rene Sandoval, the owner of Sylvan Learning in McAllen reported the theft to the McAllen Police Department in April 2019.

Sandoval told police that he hired Funk in May 2017 as an administrative assistant and by December 2017, Funk was the office manager whose duties included sending the hours for payroll to ADP, the payroll company with whom they were contracted, according to a criminal complaint dated May 2019.

Then in August 2018, Sandoval noticed money was missing from the business account so he hired a bookkeeper to look into it.

“Mr. Sandoval stated that he was later advised by this bookkeeper that Ms. Funk had been manipulating the payroll to where she was paying herself more than she was supposed to be getting paid,” the complaint stated. “Mr. Sandoval stated that he also found out that when they began paying the employees themselves Ms. Funk was forging company checks and depositing them into her own accounts via a mobile app.”

From September 2018 through January 2019, Funk allegedly forged 15 company checks through which she received about $32,843.78. She also allegedly paid herself $82,226.91 when she supposedly should have only been paid $25,190.09 by allegedly manipulating her salary from January 2018 until August 2018.

A cash summary provided by Sandoval allegedly showed that Funk also stole $37,913.26 in cash while she worked at Sylvan Learning.

In February 2019, Sandoval said he and several employees confronted Funk about her alleged activity at which point she allegedly admitted to the theft and signed several documents admitting to it.

Funk met with the investigating officer on May 7, 2019 at which point she waived her Miranda rights and agreed to speak with him, according to the complaint.

The officer stated he showed Funk copies of the checks that were claimed to be forged by her and she allegedly admitted to forging the checks and depositing the money.

“I asked Ms. Funk why she even started taking money and she stated that she was going through financial problems,” the complaint stated. “After talking to Ms. Funk for a while she stated that she wanted to speak to an attorney before continuing with the interview so at 0853 hours I ended the interview and escorted Ms. Funk out to the lobby.”

The officer wrote he determined that Funk stole a total of $152,983.95 from Sylvan Learning.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Funk was still in custody at the Hidalgo County jail.