Stephanie Langten Castillo was charged with eight counts of theft by swindle in Hennepin County. Theft by swindle is a felony in Minnesota. Castillo stole approximately 1.3 million dollars from four companies when she was employed at her mother’s company called Balderson Management. Castillo was in charge of operating and leasing commercial properties. She also had access to clients’ funds. She crated fake invoices to different vendors and wrote fraudulent checks. Castillo forged her mother’s signature on the checks. She also used clients’ money to pay her own personal bills and to help with her husband’s business. Castillo admitted to the theft and stated that she needed money for her sick dog.
The sentencing guidelines for felony theft by swindle are between 90 and 68 months in prison. However, the Hennepin County attorney’s office is seeking a departure from the guidelines. The court can depart from the guidelines when there are identifiable, substantial, and compelling circumstances to support a departure. Factors such as race sex, employment, education, and living arrangements cannot be taken account when the court is deciding whether to grant a departure. Some mitigating factors include whether the victim was an aggressor in the incident, whether the offender played a minor or passive role in the incident, and whether the offender lacked substantial capacity for judgment when the offense was committed due to a physical or mental impairment.
Castillo will need to argue that mitigating factors were involved, especially if the County Attorney is looking for a sentence beyond the sentencing guidelines. Keller Law Offices offers free consultations for individuals charged with a crime. Max Keller is an experienced Hennepin County defense lawyer. If you have been charged with theft by swindle or another crime, call 952-913-1421. A Hennepin county defense lawyer will be able to fight the charges against you.