Stillwater woman cleared of white collar crime

A woman from Stillwater, Minnesota was recently cleared of a white collar crime according to the woman’s attorney. The woman had been criminally charged in two states and was accused of writing checks with a forged signature. The woman was charged in Minnesota and South Dakota and her story demonstrates the complexities of identity theft.

The 20-year-old woman had never been to South Dakota, but on a day when she was home sick under the care of her mother, fraudulent checks were written on a church’s account with the young woman’s name almost five hours away in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. One month before the fraudulent checks were written, the young woman had reported that her driver’s license was stolen at a nightclub in Minneapolis.

In June 2010, the young woman was arrested by three federal marshals and a police officer as she walked off a riverboat in the St. Croix River. The young woman worked on the riverboat. The federal marshals and police officer told the woman that she was a fugitive and handcuffed her in front of her place of employment and in front of customers. The young woman spent three days in jail.

The woman was charged with check forgery. Two months later in August 2010 charges filed against her in Minnesota were dropped. Last week charges filed against her in South Dakota were also dropped.

The 20-year-old woman’s attorney said the identity theft and mistaken charges filed against the woman were damaging to her reputation and cost her money to defend. The next move of the woman’s attorney will be to expunge the woman’s name from court records in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Source: Star Tribune, “Stillwater woman cleared of suspicion in forgery case,” Kevin Giles, Oct. 20, 2011

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.