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Man admits to embezzling over $100,000 from company he partially owns, say deputies

Crime Watch

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Kevin Wayne Ball | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — Deputies arrested an Idaho Falls man after they say he admitted to embezzling over $100,000 from the company he jointly owns.

Kevin Wayne Ball, 41, is charged with felony grand theft. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, Ball’s business partner, Kristopher Taylor, at Alpha Sod contacted deputies after Taylor believed Ball embezzled about $272,900 over four years.

A detective on the case called it complex, with over 300 bank transactions spanning over the four years. The case filed includes multiple reports, search warrants, statements, receipts and letters from attorneys.

In 2007, Ball started Alpha Sod and in 2014, Taylor took 65% ownership with Ball keeping the remaining 35%. Taylor told investigators he discovered an alleged secret Chase Bank account used by Ball. Between 2014 and 2018, Taylor claimed Ball diverted $272,902.73 of Alpha Sod’s money into the account.

Taylor said he did not know of the Chase account until December 2018. He said he discovered the account when trying to find federal Farm Service Agency payments. When contacting the Farm Service Agency, a representative said they deposited the money into the Chase account.

Bank records obtained by deputies show Ball opened the account before Taylor bought 65% of Alpha Sod. Court documents indicate Ball had sole control over the account.

Investigators pulled hundreds of transactions starting in 2011 but focused on the first four years Ball had ownership of the company.

During a recorded Alpha Sod board meeting on Jan. 3, 2019, Ball said he placed the money into the Chase account for reimbursements to himself, according to court documents. In the meeting, someone asked what mental process Ball went through when deciding to do that.

“Don’t know … probably just look at it and see what I felt like I needed to be reimbursed for over the past month or something,” Ball responded, according to court documents.

Ball allegedly said that probably 90% of the money had either gone to cover expenditures needed to be reimbursed or debts known to the company. At the board meeting, Ball signed a written confession to embezzling over $100,000 from the company.

“It is our opinion that the integrity of the financial records (of Alpha Sod) has been compromised,” a certified fraud examiner said in his report, according to court documents.

In Oneida County, court documents indicate that on May 2, 2019, Ball bought $687.72 in diesel fuel at the KJ’s in Malad. Ball charged the purchase to the Alpha Sod account. When signing the receipt, Ball allegedly signed another Alpha Sod employee’s name without any permission.

In Oneida County, Ball is charged with felony forgery.

In addition to criminal troubles, Alpha Sod filed a lawsuit in January 2019 against Ball and others tied to him. That lawsuit is scheduled for a 10-day jury trial beginning on Feb. 2, 2021, in Bonneville County.

In Bonneville County, Ball was booked into jail and released. He was issued a summons for the Oneida County case.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on the felony grand theft charge on Aug. 19. If convicted on the theft charge, Ball could be ordered to spend up to 14 years in prison. Felony forgery holds a minimum of one year and up to 14 in prison.

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