The Free Press

MANKATO — A former employee is accused of swindling more than $13,000 from a Mankato hotel.

Maya Leigh Hastings, 40, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, formerly of Mankato, was charged with felony counts of theft and theft by swindle Monday in Blue Earth County District Court.

A Mankato Department of Public Safety detective began investigating in the fall after an audit found about $20,000 in suspicious credit card refunds at the Mankato City Center Hotel.

The detective found two refunds, of over $7,000 and nearly $6,400, to prepaid credit cards that appeared to be criminal acts. There were other refunds that were not authorized by the hotel but did not qualify as a crime, according to the court complaint.

The refunds were made using Hasting’s computer ID. Hastings, who had been fired from the hotel for other reasons, denied issuing the refunds.

Hastings told the investigator the ID passwords were stored on a computer that many people could have accessed. The hotel manager denied that claim.

The detective obtained a warrant for the credit card records to which a refund was deposited. The card’s owner, who also was a former hotel employee, said Hastings gave her the card.

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