Business Manager For Chokio-Alberta School District Sentenced For Stealing Approximately $300,000
MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court in Fergus Falls, the business manager for
the Chokio-Alberta School District was sentenced for stealing approximately $300,000 from the
district. United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim sentenced Liane Claassen, age 44,
of Chokio, to 18 months in prison on one count of wire fraud in connection to the crime. She was
charged on May 2, 2011, and pleaded guilty on July 29, 2011. In addition, Claassen was ordered
to pay $263,240.32 in restitution.
In her plea agreement, Claassen admitted that between July of 1999 through August of
2010, she used the school district’s computer to pay herself more money than her salary allowed.
As the district’s business manager, Claassen was responsible for payroll for all district
employees and was entrusted to authorize bank transfers. Claassen also admitted illegally
transferring money into her retirement account and covering up her scheme by making
misrepresentations to her employers regarding the district’s financial condition.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was
prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian S. Wilton.