After Mudbusters Car Wash in Wasilla, Alaska, fired Steven D. Berry, profits jumped more than $16,000. That was no coincidence. Berry was stealing coins.
According to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Berry is scheduled to begin his sentence today for embezzling more than $400,000 from the car wash, a prominent family business near the center of Wasilla, north of Anchorage. Prosecutors say he amassed coins and misreported his hours over the course of years.
Berry maintained his innocence even after he was convicted. But when police searched his house they found a “survival room” — we imagine something like a shelter against apocalypse or insurrection — containing 100,000 one-dollar coins. Forensic accountants also determined that Berry deposited another $184,684 into his bank account, the Frontiersman reported. The case only became more bizarre when investigators discovered that Berry had built his home on land he doesn’t own, which has become a whole separate issue.
“He stole from the Mahoys in every way,” said the judge in the case, referring to the family that owns the car wash business. She said she hoped imposing a year-long sentence would deter future criminals.