A former payroll employee for Land O'Lakes in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, has pled guilty to one count of mail fraud after it was discovered that she embezzled more than $1 million from the company.
Cynthia Jacobsen is accused of making 489 unauthorized payments from Land O'Lakes accounts to her daughter by fraudulently listing her as a vendor. Jacobsen then forged her daughter's signature on the checks and cashed them to pay for personal expenses as well as gambling debts, prosecutors say. The checks that she authorized to the fake businesses under her daughter's name were sent to Jacobsen's residence. The illegal activity took place between 2008 and May of this year while Jacobsen worked as an accounting supervisor, until an accounts payable audit uncovered the theft. After the investigation found that $1,046,152 had been stolen, company executives contacted local authorities who further examined the case.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, Jacobsen waived her right to trial by pleading guilty and could face up to four years in prison. She has also been ordered to pay full restitution to Land O'Lakes. The news source reports that Jacobsen has had financial troubles in the past, including bankruptcy and a misdemeanor charge of aggravated theft-by-swindle.