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Payroll Agent Sentenced for Embezzling More Than $1 Million from Land O’Lakes

This news story was published on November 30, 2012.
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MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court in St. Paul, a former payroll agent for Land O’Lakes was sentenced for embezzling more than $1 million from the company. United States District Judge Donovan W. Frank sentenced Cynthia Carol Jacobsen, age 58, of Brooklyn Park, to 26 months in prison on one count of mail fraud. Judge Frank also ordered Jacobsen to pay $1,035,955.58 in restitution. Jacobsen, who was charged on June 19, 2012, pleaded guilty on July 12, 2012.

Following yesterday’s sentencing, Adam P. Behnen, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Denver Division, which also covers the Twin Cities, said, “When the U.S. mail is used for the purposes of committing fraud, it’s the job of the Postal Inspection Service to aggressively investigate and ensure America’s continued confidence in the integrity of its postal system. The sentence handed down against Ms. Jacobsen should serve as a wake-up call to those who would use the mail to commit fraud.”

In her plea agreement, Jacobsen admitted that from 2008 through May 15, 2012, she fraudulently entered her daughter’s name into the company’s payment system as a vendor and then authorized 489 payments to her. During that time, Jacobsen worked as an accounts payable supervisor and authorized payments to vendors for services rendered. The illegal payments were sent by mail to Jacobsen’s residence. In addition, Jacobsen admitted forging her daughter’s signature and cashing the checks for her own personal use.

This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Rank.

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