School District Employee Pleads Guilty In Theft Case

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The former business manager for the Chokio-Alberta School District pleaded guilty in Minneapolis Federal Court on Friday to stealing $275,000 from the district.

Liane Claassen, 43 of Chokio, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. She was charged May 2.

In the plea agreement, Claassen admitted to using the district’s computer to pay herself more money than her salary allowed from July 1999 through August of 2010. As the business manager for the district, she was responsible for payroll to all the district employees and was trusted to authorize bank transfers.

Claassen also admitted to illegally transferring money to her retirement account and covered up the scheme by misrepresenting the district’s financial condition to her employers.

Claassen faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the crime.

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