HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) – A 60-year-old Inver Grove Heights man pleaded guilty to swindling a nonprofit organization of more than $154,000 from a Twin Cities nonprofit organization over the course of four years.
Donald Peter Boehmer pleaded guilty to six counts of theft by swindle. He had initially been charged with nine felony counts in connection with an incident where $154,000 was stolen from the International Concatenated Order of the Hoo-Hoo.
According to a criminal complaint, Mendota Heights Police were contacted by a member of the group earlier this year. Police learned that during an internal audit in November 2010, money was missing from the club’s checking and money market accounts.
Boehmer became the treasurer of the group in November 2006 and had all the club’s financial matters sent directly to his Mendota Heights home instead of the club’s P.O box. He was removed as the club’s treasurer last December.
The complaint states police found 259 checks written by Boehmer on the club’s checking account, 105 of which were not legitimate. Some checks were written to Phantom Sales, a private company owned by Boehmer, or written and endorsed by him and cashed at various Twin Cities banks.
He initially claimed that he would purchase items for the club and wrote himself checks from the club’s account as a reimbursement. He claimed he was trying to make money for the club by buying and selling products. Boehmer later told authorities writing checks from the club’s account spiraled out of control, he was in over his head and didn’t know what to do, according to the complaint.
Sentencing has been set for February. The Dakota County Attorney’s Office said the presumptive sentence for Boehmer’s crimes would be 57 months in prison.
The International Concatenated Order of the Hoo-Hoo is described as a lumberman’s fraternity, founded in Arkansas in 1892, with a quirky nickname. Today, Twin Cities Chapter President Dave Siwek said they educate teachers and students about forestry and the environment. Siwek said the mission is suspended for now, as his organization has lost every last penny.