Chatfield couple who stole $100k from vulnerable adult given probation
"I just regret everything that happened," Bruce Lynn Amundson said in court. "There's a lot of shame I have to deal with."
ROCHESTER — A Chatfield couple was given probation during a hearing in Olmsted County District Court Thursday, March 1, 2023, for stealing almost $100,000 from a vulnerable adult under the couple's care.
Bruce Lynn Amundson, 68, and Deborah Lane Amundson, 67, both pleaded guilty to one felony count of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult as part of a January 2023 plea deal that dismissed five additional felony counts of financial exploitation.
As part of the plea deal, the pair was required to pay back the $98,191.15 they stole.
Assistant Olmsted County Attorney Carrie Osowski asked District Judge Pamela King to follow the terms of the plea deal, which called for a stay of adjudication and probation, since the couple had paid the restitution in the full amount.
The Amundson's attorney, Kevin Devore, told the court that the two expressed remorse and took responsibility for the crime early on.
The pair was surprised at the total amount, Devore said in court, and the couple didn't intend to take that much.
"We did this with the intent to pay it back but it just got out of hand," Deborah Amundson said in court.
Both Amundsons expressed regret during their hearing Thursday.
"I just regret everything that happened," Bruce Amundson said in court. "There's a lot of shame I have to deal with."
For her part, King acknowledged the couple's remorse along with them accepting responsibility and paying the vulnerable adult back.
King ordered a stay of adjudication in the case, meaning that if the Amundson's successfully complete probation, their charge will be dismissed.
Their crime doesn't define them, King said in court.
"It's time for you to move on from that," she said.
According to the criminal complaint:
The Amundsons transferred $98,191.15 between January 2018 and December 2020 from a person that Bruce Amundson had a power of attorney over.
Law enforcement found bank slips from a Rochester bank where the deposits and withdrawals happened.
The pair told law enforcement the transfers were approved by the victim in exchange for the pair caring for the vulnerable adult. They were not able to furnish a contract authorizing the transactions.
The pair told law enforcement they put the vulnerable adult into a nursing home facility in April 2018.
The investigation was initially started after an Olmsted County adult protection social worker submitted a report to law enforcement about potential abuse. At the time the report was submitted, the victim had an outstanding bill of around $28,578 at the Rochester care facility.