United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced an information charging KIRSTEN ANN TJOSAAS, 38, for embezzling more than $5.7 million from Fagen, Inc. (Fagen), an industrial contracting company for which she served as Chief Financial Officer. TJOSAAS is charged with wire fraud and money laundering. The defendant is expected to appear at a later date before Judge Donovan W. Frank in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn.
“As alleged in the information, Ms. Tjosaas carried on an egregious embezzlement scheme over an eight-year period, stealing millions from a family-owned business,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. “These charges reflect a clear violation of both the law and the trust her employer placed in her.”
According to the information, between 2006 and November 2015, TJOSAAS abused her authority as Corporate Controller and Chief Financial Officer of Fagen to issue at least 19 checks and make wire transfers totaling approximately $4.5 million from Fagen to Fairmont Investments, LLC (Fairmont), a Nebraska-based corporation controlled by the defendant.
According to the information, after registering Fairmont, TJOSAAS opened a bank account at Granite Falls Bank in the name of Fairmont for the purpose of embezzling money from Fagen. TJOSAAS signed these checks using the signature stamp of another Fagen executive without the authority or knowledge of that executive. The defendant also entered false entries into Fagen’s general ledger to disguise the illegitimate checks as payments to Fagen partners or payments to legitimate Fagen vendors. After depositing checks into the Fairmont account, TJOSAAS transferred the funds she had stolen into her own personal bank accounts. She used the illicit proceeds to buy five houses and other real estate in Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Arizona, as well as at least three automobiles, two all-terrain vehicles, a motorcycle, a jet-ski, and a sailboat.
According to the information, TJOSAAS also fraudulently issued Fagen checks payable to another company. TJOSAAS had access to and control over the bank account of this company. Between June 2006 and November 2015, TJOSAAS issued approximately 25 fraudulent checks into this account, totaling more than $1.2 million.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Thompson is prosecuting the case.
Defendant Information: KIRSTEN ANN TJOSAAS, 38 Granite Falls, Minn.
Charges: Wire fraud, 1 count – Money laundering, 1 count
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