Westfield firefighter accused of stealing over $100K from medical device company

Steven Bauer, Mishelle Hoke

WESTFIELD, Ind. – A Westfield firefighter is accused of stealing from a business in Noblesville.

Police say the firefighter, 50-year-old Steven Bauer, fraudulently billed a medical device company almost $128,000. He’s charged with two counts each of theft and forgery.

Police say his girlfriend, Mishelle Hoke, was also involved in the crime. She faces the same charges.

She was the human resources director for the medical device company Ambu.

Court documents say Hoke and Bauer conspired to commit forgery and theft from January of 2017 through March of 2019 by executing a scheme with the intent to defraud Ambu of money.

A detective says Hoke hired Bauer as a recruiter for Ambu but she set it up so that no one at Ambu other than herself saw the invoices. Police claim Hoke supplied Bauer with names of applicants who applied at Ambu and Bauer would send Hoke invoices using those applicants’ names without their knowledge or consent and Bauer would get paid for recruiting them.

Police also believe Bauer sent Hoke invoices for outplacement services that were to be provided following an employee’s termination from Ambu.

Court documents say police looked at nearly 50 invoices that Bauer received from Ambu and found more than half were forged.

Police say the fraudulent charges included recruiting fees paid for employees Bauer did not recruit and for employees who were never hired.

The City of Westfield said the fire department is not involved in this investigation. Bauer has been with the fire department for more than 20 years.

He’s currently on paid administrative leave during an internal investigation.

 Ambu says they do not have any comments at this time since legal proceedings are in process. 

We reached out to attorneys for Hoke and Bauer. Legal counsel for Hoke says they do not have a comment at this time.

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