Bonanza Valley Voice -

Business owner charged with felony theft in Eighth Judicial District Court

 

Published at 15:33 on Sunday, April 7, 2019.

On Friday, April 5, a Brooten business owner was charged with one felony-level count of theft by swindle at the Pope County courthouse in Glenwood.

Plaintiffs bringing the case against defendant Jana Zenner are the State of Minnesota and Pope County. The Minnesota Statute in the case is 609.52.2(2)(4), with reference to 609.52.3(2) with a maximum sentence of not more than 10 years and/or $20,000.

In the state's complaint, the charge description said: on or about January 14, 2019 and continuing through April 3, 2019, within the County of Pope, the defendant did, by swindling, whether by artifice, trick, device or any other means, obtain property or services from another person and the value of the property or services was greater than $5,000.

The case was filed in Pope County, Eighth Judicial District with the State of Minnesota on April 5, 2019.

The arresting officer, a Deputy with the Pope County Sheriff's Office, followed through on an arrest warrant on the evening of Wednesday, April 3. The arrest warrant was placed based on information provided to the sheriff's department by the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center. (Short link: https://bit.ly/2IjygV1.)

According to the complaint form, during the period in question, separate checks totaling $48,850 were written from the adult victim's checking account to Zenner's personal and business checking accounts. On January 14, two checks each totaling $8,000 were written. Other checks were written in the following amounts and dates stated: $3,000 on January 16; $4,000 on January 17; $4,000 on January 22; $350 on February 28; $2,000 on March 5; $4,000 on March 5; $6,000 on March 12; $5,000 on March 19; $2,500 on March 20; and $2,000 on March 23.

Through due diligence by the sheriff's department's investigation, it was determined that a felony theft by swindle charge was in order. 

During an interview between a sheriff's deputy and Zenner at the Pope County Law Enforcement Center in Glenwood, Zenner confirmed that she is not the Power of Attorney for the victim, but instead, a relative of the victim is the Power of Attorney.

The complaint said, “The Deputy then spoke with Jana Zenner at the law enforcement center. The Deputy began by going through checks with her that (the victim) had written out to her. Jana provided that she is the one that writes out the checks and forges (the victim’s) signature on them.”

The complaint further states that a relative of the victim “was apparently unaware of any of these transactions.”

The Pope County Sheriff's Department is currently awaiting subpoena results for records related to the victim's credit charge account, which Zenner had access to.

The prosecuting attorney in this case is Troy Nelson, Assistant Pope County Attorney at South Lakeshore Drive, Glenwood. The complaint was signed by Nelson at 11:07 a.m. on April 5.

At a 1:30 p.m. first court appearance on April 5, Zenner asked for and was granted a continuance to allow her to consult with an attorney. 

Zenner's order for release, also granted on Friday, stated the following interim conditions: no contact with victim(s), remain law-abiding, make all future court appearances and sign the probation agreement.

The Initial Appearance - Rule 8 at the Pope County Courthouse will be at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

Additional information on this case, including public information stemming from the April 9 court hearing, will be published in the Bonanza Valley Voice's April 11 issue.


Update at 16:34 on April 9: at the Tuesday, April 9 court hearing, the case was postponed until April 23.

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