AUBURN – The general manager of the company where Jan Mulherin worked said Wednesday she paid herself a higher rate on commissions than she was allowed and took commissions on more sales than she was entitled, adding up to tens of thousands of extra dollars over the years.

David Kozlowsky testified on the second day of Mulherin’s trial in Androscoggin County Superior Court that during a three-year period, the former bookkeeper at Safe Approach Inc. overpaid herself more than $20,000 in commissions. She is charged with two counts of felony theft.

Kozlowsky said Mulherin was entitled to only a 2 percent commission from a single client and only on certain products.

Instead, Kozlowsky said, Mulherin often paid herself monthly commissions from that customer on all of its sales and at a higher rate than the 2 percent she was authorized. She also paid herself commissions on sales from other clients and sometimes paid herself commissions twice in the same month, Kozlowsky testified Wednesday afternoon.

Kozlowsky was a salesman at the company; Mulherin was not, though she sometimes received orders and requests for quotes faxed into the office, Kozlowsky said.

Roger Dargie, owner of the Poland company that designs and builds safety equipment, testified a day earlier that he only approved a 2 percent commission for Mulherin on netting sales to National Tool.

Yet, Mulherin calculated commissions on other items sold to that company, Kozlowsky said.

After confronting and firing Mulherin, Dargie asked Kozlowsky to analyze Mulherin’s bookkeeping, with an eye out for checks she made out to herself and any accounting records that would explain her income.

Another office worker, Becky Dufault, testified Wednesday that she looked through credit card charges by Mulherin on a company account to verify that they were legitimate business expenses.

Dufault also found carbons of checks Mulherin had written on the company account to sports clubs in the Turner area where her kids went to school and were involved in sports.

Dargie testified that he never authorized spending on those teams.

Walter McKee, Mulherin’s attorney, suggested the agreements at Safe Approach concerning commissions were poorly documented and that Mulherin believed she was authorized to make the donations in question.

McKee also quizzed Dargie about a $5,000 loan Mulherin made to Safe Approach at a time when the company was suffering from a drop in sales after Sept. 11, 2001. Dargie said he wasn’t aware of the loan until recently.

“Your allegation is not only did Jan Mulherin secretly steal money from you, but secretly loaned money to you?” McKee said.

“Yes,” Dargie said.

Mulherin’s trial is expected to wrap up Thursday.


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