Ex-Land O’Lakes Worker Gets 2 Yrs. for Embezzling $1M
A former accounts payable supervisor for Land O’ Lakes has been sentenced to two years and two months in prison for embezzling more than $1 million from the Arden Hills-based agricultural cooperative, Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Cynthia Jacobsen of Brooklyn Park, who was charged in June with one count of mail fraud, pleaded guilty the following month.
In addition to handing down Jacobsen’s prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank ordered her to pay $1.04 million in restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
While working as an accounts payable supervisor, Jacobsen authorized payments to vendors that provided services to Land O’ Lakes. In her plea agreement, she admitted that from 2008 through May 2012, she entered her daughter’s name into the company’s payment system in the place of a legitimate vendor. She authorized 489 illegal payments, which were mailed to her residence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Jacobsen also admitted to forging her daughter’s signature in order to cash the checks for her personal use.
Jacobsen’s attorney wrote in court documents that her crime stemmed from “a perfect storm of guilt and gambling.” Her daughter’s husband died in 2008 after being in a diabetic coma for more than two years. His home health care costs proved “financially disastrous,” and knee surgery rendered Jacobsen unable to work. She “craved an escape,” her gambling “quickly spiraled out of control,” and she embezzled funds after being unable to cover basic expenses, according to court documents.