Ellsworth woman may face jail time after judge tosses agreementRED WING, Minn. -- Saying it lacked criminal consequences, a judge on Friday turned down a settlement deal calling for an Ellsworth woman to repay more than $70,000 to the Red Wing company she allegedly stole from.
By: Jen Cullen, RiverTown Newspaper Group
RED WING, Minn. -- Saying it lacked criminal consequences, a judge on Friday turned down a settlement deal calling for an Ellsworth woman to repay more than $70,000 to the Red Wing company she allegedly stole from.
The agreement reached between attorneys would have kept Lynn Wittman out of jail, but required her to make large restitution payments.
Wittman is accused of stealing from Culligan Water Systems starting in 2005.
The 35-year-old allegedly altered the company's books to make them appear balanced while she worked in the accounts payable department.
She would then allegedly write herself checks for random amounts, according to a criminal complaint.
First District Court Judge Thomas Bibus called the agreement concerning. "It's too lenient given the circumstances," he said Friday. "I don't know if the plan is realistic or not."
Wittman would have been required to pay Culligan's owner, Glen Craven, $30,000 on June 1, monthly installments for two years and another large payment in 2011.
Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Carol Lee said that plan was the best way to ensure Craven was received his money.
"I know Mr. Craven is frustrated too," Lee said about the lack of criminal consequences. "But at least he'll get the money paid back within a reasonable amount of time."
Wittman was fired from Culligan in April 2007.
She was allegedly stealing form the company from March 2005 until the day she was let go.
A Rochester accounting agency found evidence the money was missing while training an employee to replace Wittman.
Wittman is scheduled to appear in court again at 1 p.m. April 18.