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Man charged with writing bad checks

By Janice Gregorson

gregor@postbulletin.com

A Lake City man said he needed money to pay off fines in order to get his driver’s license reinstated. So he allegedly devised a scheme that got out of hand.

Now, Mark Gernot Blaisdell, 29, is charged with two felony offenses and has been summoned into Olmsted District Court on July 28. The charges are issuance of dishonored checks and theft by false representation, both felonies.

A Rochester woman turned to police on Jan. 9 after her bank account had been frozen. She said she has known Blaisdell for several years and that in December, in Rochester, he told her that he needed money for Christmas presents but that going to his bank in the Twin Cities would be an inconvenience. He asked her to cash several checks for him, and she said she did because she trusted him, the complaint said.

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On Dec. 10, she cashed two checks for $850; on Dec. 12, she cashed another one for $1,400. The next week, personnel from her credit union told her the checks from Blaisdell had bounced and there was a negative balance. Officials said they were going to take her paycheck to cover part of the negative balance and also were going to freeze the account until it was balanced. The woman let Blaisdell know what was going on.

On Dec. 18, Blaisdell wrote the woman another check for $1,720 to cover the losses. That check also bounced. The woman told police she spoke to Blaisdell every day and that he was coming up with excuses. The bank was told to not take any more checks from Blaisdell, only cash.

On Dec. 21, Blaisdell allegedly went to the bank and wrote another check to the account for $1,400. That check also bounced. On Dec. 22, he allegedly told the woman that his mother wrote a check for $1,950 to her account. The complaint said Blaisdell actually wrote that check and on Jan. 3, the woman learned it had bounced.

The complaint said Blaisdell wrote a total of six checks for $8,170, but because the bank account was frozen, the victim’s loss was limited to $3,100.

Police talked to Blaisdell on Jan. 15 and said he admitted writing the checks and knowing there wasn’t enough money in his account. He said he needed the money to pay off fines to get his driver’s license back. He said it wasn’t his intention to "do all this but acknowledges he knows he did wrong," the complaint said.

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