By Leisa Zigman I-Team Reporter
BERKELEY, Mo. (KSDK) - The St. Louis County Department of Health is speaking out about a case that could involve millions of missing dollars.
According to Dr. Delores Gunn, the embezzlement was part of an elaborate scheme that was pulled off by a trusted employee with high level access.
The scheme unraveled in the days before 39-year-old Edward Mueth committed suicide last Thursday, about 1/4 mile from his million dollar Webster Groves estate.
Mueth made $89,000 a year and lived a lavish lifestyle, but that didn't raise any red flags. According to Dr. Gunn, Mueth created a company under a fictitious name in 2008 to sell the county computer software.
His company, Gateway Technical Solutions, beat out World Wide Technologies, the billion dollar St. Louis-based company, because Mueth's bid was cheaper. There's no firm number of how much was embezzled.
"We're not looking at millions and millions and millions of dollars, but we are looking at a large amount of funds," said Dr. Gunn. "We have systems in place to detect theft and fraud, and that's exactly what the fiscal team here kind of focused in on here and did. I'm very proud of them for doing that."
Even though the county has systems in place to detected fraud, it still took five years to get those red flags waived. Dr. Gunn says there's always room for improvement.
The investigation continues to determine if other St. Louis County employees were involved. Dr. Gunn says they are consulting attorneys to determine if some of the money can be reclaimed.