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Former ELCA bookkeeper pleads 'guilty' to $700,000 theft


MOORHEAD, Minn. (KFGO-AM) - Prosecutors have reached a plea agreement with a Wolverton, Minn. man accused of embezzling $700,000 from the ELCA's Northwestern Minnesota Synod.

The agreement calls for Robert Larson to serve four years in prison and to pay back the stolen money.

“That’s an upward departure from Minnesota sentencing guidelines” according to Assistant Clay County Attorney Heidi Davies. “We came to that agreement based on the amount of money that was stolen, his abuse of a position of trust, as well as the long period of time that the theft took place over.”

The plea agreement also says Larson’s wife will not be prosecuted.

Larson was a bookkeeper for the synod. He stole the money by forging checks made out to himself and his wife.

Much of the money was used to remodel Larson's home. The house has been put up for sale to help pay for the restitution.