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Former Merickel Lumber employee sentenced for theft by swindle

Brenda Bakken, 57, was sentenced on July 17 for theft by swindle from Merickel Lumber Mills, Inc. and its customers.

The charge of felony theft was dismissed. She was convicted of felony theft by swindle with $79,036 in restitution ($1000 per month beginning November 1), the amount she stole from the company and customers; also pay a $1000 fine, serve 45 days in the Wadena County Jail beginning August 3, serve 40 hours of community service and be on supervised probation for 20 years. Successful completion of probation will result in a misdemeanor conviction.

According to the complaint, the investigation by the Wadena Police Department revealed that between June 2016 and May 2018 that $67,332 was unaccounted for in some customer accounts. Bakken was responsible for those accounts. . . .

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