Police: Mayo nurse takes the old mileage reimbursement scam way too far

Like all schemes, this one's best left to trained professionals.

Like all schemes, this one's best left to trained professionals. Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

It's the mileage reimbursement scam, practiced by employees far and wide as a way to pull a few more cents from The Man. But like all schemes, it's best left to trained professionals.

Christine Chadderdon is clearly not among that crowd, if you believe investigators. She was a nurse manager for Mayo Clinic, traveling southwestern Minnesota for her job. The 50-year-old Le Center woman made repeated trips to Waseca, Janesville, and Watertown.

It is the misfortune of the modern employee that such travels are painstakingly tracked by computer. Mayo noticed that Chadderdon's department had abnormally high mileage reimbursements. So the hunt commenced for an answer.

Chadderdon soon resigned. But this was only likely to raise more red flags. Mayo quickly learned that she was the source of its ballooning bill, taking in $71,000 between 2015 and 2018.

Alas, her work records didn't conform to that figure. Her digital calendar showed her making claims for places she never visited, meetings she attended by phone, and padded mileage when she did show up. She also made claims for 38 days she was on vacation.

No, this was not the work of a trained professional.

All told, according to Mayo, she was only entitled to $1,300. While her $70,000 markup might be legal if she was a drug company, it did not conform to the legal standards of the American employee. She was charged in Waseca County with felony theft by swindle.

Let this be a lesson to you, boys and girls: Always scam in moderation.