St. Augusta Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing From Employer
ST. CLOUD -- A St. Augusta woman has pleaded guilty to stealing approximately $46,000 from the Order of St. Benedict where she worked.
Thirty-six-year-old Laura Schwindel pleaded guilty to two counts of felony theft-by-swindle earlier this month. As part of the plea agreement, two other counts were dropped and she was required to pay the money back.
The Stearns County Attorney's Office says Schwindel has paid the restitution in full and she now must serve 20 days in jail. Schwindel will also be on probation for 10 years and if she violates the terms of probation could be sentenced to 10 years in prison for each of the two counts. The prosecutors office says officials at the abbey approved of the agreement.
According to the criminal complaint, Schwindel had taken the money between September 2013 and October 2015. Records show employees began noticing deposits failing to show up in various accounts. An investigation revealed a number of transactions where checks were deposited, the receipts voided and then cash receipts under Schwindel's username completed.
An investigator obtained Schwindel's bank records and noted $20,000 in cash deposits during the time the money went missing.
Schwindel was fired last October.