Julio Cruz-Barrientos, 43, of McHenry (inset) was charged last week with money laundering and continuing a financial crime enterprise for allegedly stealing from Lurvey Landscape Supply in Volo. | Inset: 2010 Booking Photo; Background Photo: Google Street View

An employee of a landscaping company in Volo has been charged with stealing nearly $75,000 from the business through a fraudulent return scheme, police said.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said a representative of a business in Volo came forward to report an employee theft in February 2021.

The representative said they found an employee, Julio Cruz-Barrientos, stealing over $65,000 from the business, Lurvey Landscape Supply, over a five-year period.

A thorough investigation was conducted by the financial crimes division into Cruz-Barrientos, 43, of McHenry.

Investigators found that Cruz-Barrientos was crediting his own personal credit card with various amounts through the years.

He would code returns as if they were customers returning products but they were actually fraudulent returns he created, Covelli said.

Covelli said Cruz-Barrientos stole nearly $75,000 from the business.

A LinkedIn profile appearing to belong to Cruz-Barrientos lists him as working sales for the company.

[Suggested Article]  'A true hero': Famed Lake County Sheriff's Canine Dax retires after career-ending injury

Financial crime detectives conducted several interviews and forensically audited banking records as part of the investigation.

Detectives then presented the case to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The state’s attorney’s office approved charges of continuing a financial crime enterprise, a Class 1 Felony, two counts of theft, a Class 2 felony, and money laundering, a Class 2 felony.

A Lake County judge last Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for Cruz-Barrientos carrying a $150,000 bond.

The man is not in custody yet, court records show.