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Employee charged with theft of over $67,000

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Charges were filed on April 5 in Wadena County against a former employee of Merickel Lumber for the theft of $67,332.

Brenda Bakken, 57, was charged with two felony charges of theft, and theft by swindle.

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.

During an interview with the Wadena Police Department, Bakken said she left the employment of Merickel Lumber after four and a half years in December because she felt overwhelmed by the work. She had denied any knowledge about the missing money.

Bakken was presented with examples for which she had no explanation or recollection of doing any of those things and she said that she shouldn’t say anything until speaking to a lawyer. . . .

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