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Press Release

Fairfax Bookkeeper Indicted For $500,000 Embezzlement Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker announced a federal indictment charging THERESA ERNESTINE LINSMEIER with three counts of wire fraud and five counts of filing false tax returns. LINSMEIER will make her initial appearance in United States District Court on March 15, 2018.

According to the indictment, from 1998 to 2016, LINSMEIER was employed as a bookkeeper at Farm Mercantile, Inc., a hardware store located in Fairfax, Minn. In her position, LINSMEIER had access to and was an authorized signatory on Farm Mercantile’s bank accounts and had authority to sign and issue checks on behalf of the company.

According to the indictment, from about 2011 through 2016, LINSMEIER devised a scheme to embezzle more than $500,000 from Farm Mercantile. As part of the scheme, LINSMEIER transferred money to her personal credit cards directly from the bank accounts to which she had access. LINSMEIER attempted to conceal her embezzlement by creating false entries in Farm Mercantile’s general ledger to make it look like the money she stole had actually been used to pay legitimate business expenses. In total, LINSMEIER stole approximately $535,000, which she used for online gambling.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph H Thompson.


Defendant Information:                                                                                                                     


Fairfax, Minn.


  • Wire fraud, 3 counts
  • Filing false tax returns, 5 counts






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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600






The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 9, 2018

Financial Fraud