MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A White Bear Lake woman is accused of stealing and forging checks from her employer in an attempt to pay for plastic surgery.

Darla Jean Tyler, 51, was charged with four counts of check forgery.

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Tyler worked as a house cleaner for a White Bear Lake man with a serious back injury since 2013. She is accused of trying to defraud him of more than $20,000.

Her employer’s checkbook went missing and checks from the missing book were made payable to Dr. Michael Fasching, a Minneapolis plastic surgeon, according to the criminal complaint. Fasching’s office had taken photos of Tyler as part of a “before and after” surgery series.

The first check from Tyler’s employer bounced, and Tyler did not receive reconstructive surgery.

Tyler’s employer told police that she had requested money for an unspecified form of cancer, but he declined her request. He said Tyler had previously tried to persuade him to leave her his estate.

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Tyler’s employer’s Wells Fargo check card, his Minnesota driver’s license and insurance cards were found in Tyler’s apartment during a search by police.

She said her employer told her to keep the money because he thought he was about to die.

“I did handle it the wrong way,” Tyler told police, according to the criminal complaint. “He thought he was going to die. I thought he was going to die. I was a little desperate.”

Tyler has previous felony convictions for financial transaction card fraud, theft of unemployment benefits, possession of stolen property and theft of public assistance.

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