Herald JournalHerald Journal, Sept. 22, 2003

Minneapolis man pleads guilty to Winsted bank fraud

By Ryan Gueningsman

A Minneapolis man plead guilty to one felony charge of theft by swindle Sept. 9.

Benard Dean Simmons, 37, of Minneapolis, deposited three stolen checks into his checking and savings account at Community Bank Winsted, according to the criminal complaint.

The checks, which totaled $1,075, were deposited during the period of Aug. 26 to Aug. 31, 2002, according to the complaint.

Two checks were from a woman in Omaha, Neb., and the other was from a woman in Minneapolis.

Simmons withdrew $986 from his accounts, which caused the bank to be defrauded by the wrongful deposit of stolen checks into his account.

He later withdrew those amounts from his checking account.

Simmons was placed on probation for two years, with probation conditions that he serve one year in jail, according to the McLeod County Attorney's Office.

He was given 180 days credit for time served in treatment, and the court stayed the other 180 days. He also paid full restitution.

"It is the bank's policy to not comment on individual cases," said Community Bank Winsted President Roger Boyce. "We are fortunate, though, that we pretty much know our customer base, and usually it's (theft by swindle) not an issue."

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