David Elvig, accused of embezzling from shutdown business, is facing 54 counts. 24 of them felonies, over embezzling from .
Ramsey City Council Member David Elvig, who allegedly owes the state $649,000 in sales taxes, was charged Tuesday with 24 felony counts of theft and is accused of embezzlement in connection with his former custom furniture and cabinet business.
Elvig, 52, had been charged earlier this year with two felonies, accused of embezzling $19,596.83 from his employees' 401(k) and group health and dental plans, from April 2009 to January 2010. But on Tuesday, the charges were amended. He now faces 54 charges in all: 24 felonies, 12 gross misdemeanors and 18 misdemeanors. He previously had been accused of embezzling $19,596.83 from his employees' 401(k) and group health and dental plans, from April 23, 2009 to Jan. 14, 2010. Tuesday's amended charges include the alleged theft and swindle suffered by eight of his former employees. The dollar amount in question has not changed.
"I wasn't aware that there's a new issue," Elvig said upon learning of the amended charges. Elvig's attorney, Richard Malacko, also was unaware of the amended charges and declined to comment other than to say he may ask that the trial, set for Oct. 1 in Anoka County District Court, be continued to a later date.
Prosecutor Tom Wedes, Isanti County's chief deputy attorney, said that the amended charges recognize crimes against each of Elvig's employees. The maximum penalty for each felony is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Anoka County has asked Isanti County to handle the case to avoid a conflict of interest, because of Elvig's service on the Ramsey City Council.
According to court documents, an investigation by a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor found Elvig kept money intended for E-Street Maker's employee benefit plans. Those funds were instead used to pay business expenses, the charges say.