Bookkeeper indicted in $500K fraud case

A Grand Jury indictment details how authorities say Theresa Ernestine Linsmeier siphoned more than $500,000 off the books of Farm Mercantile in Fairfax, MN, over a five-year period.

FAIRFAX, Minn. - A former bookkeeper is facing a federal indictment for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 from her employer to feed a gambling habit.

A Grand Jury indictment details how authorities say Theresa Ernestine Linsmeier siphoned the money off the books of Farm Mercantile over a five-year period by transferring money from the hardware store's accounts to her own credit cards without permission. In all, investigators say Linsmeier stole approximately $535,000 from 2011 to 2016 and used it to gamble online.

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Authorities allege that Linsmeier covered up her activity by creating fraudulent entries in Farm Mercantile's general ledger to make it look like the missing money was used for legitimate business expenses.

Because she transferred the stolen money electronically the defendant stands charged with three counts of wire fraud. Members oof the Grand Jury also filed five counts of filing false tax reports.