(Cleveland) - A Sheffield Lake man has been hit with federal charges for supposedly embezzling nearly $3 million from Medical Mutual. Joseph F. Satava, III, age 69, is dealing with one count of theft of embezzlement.

According to federal investigators, Satava stole approximately $2.9 million from his employer, Medical Mutual, between August 1997 and November 2013.

U.S. Attorney's spokesman Mike Tobin said, Satava began working for Medical Mutual in 1971, and held the position of Manager of Credit and Collections for the past 20 years. In this capacity, he had the authority and managerial discretion to request and approve reimbursement checks in amounts up to $5,000.

Tobin told Newsradio WTAM 1100, that Satava pocketed checks of $4,000 to $5,000, from large accounts totalling in the hundreds of millions of dollars so they would not be detected.

To cash the checks, investigators contend, Satava forged the name of the payee. Tobin said, after he forged each check, he countersigned his own name beneath the forged name. Defendant used ATMs to deposit each check into his own personal bank account to avoid scrutiny from bank administrators.

Investigators claim Satava used the embezzled funds to pay for living expenses that were otherwise beyond his means, such as furniture and other household items, his adult son’s college education, a car loan, travel and personal vacations, plus a retirement home on Lake Erie.

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(Photo by Ken Robinson/WTAM)