Fraud by then-Land O'Lakes accounting supervisor was discovered based on a tip from another employee.
A former Land O'Lakes accounting supervisor pleaded guilty Thursday in St. Paul to mail fraud in a scheme she devised to siphon more than $1 million from the company over four years.
Cynthia Carol Jacobsen, 58, of Brooklyn Park, set up business entities in the name of her daughter and submitted bogus bills that Land O'Lakes paid unwittingly. Jacobsen admitted to forging her daughter's signature on 489 checks to obtain $1,046,152. She then moved the money to her own accounts and gambled it away.
The company uncovered the embezzlement after an audit prompted by a tip from a co-worker, authorities said. The diversion caused Land O'Lakes to misrepresent its financial position while it lasted. A spokeswoman for the company said July 13 that no misrepresentation occurred.
Jacobsen's plea agreement contemplates a prison term of 41 to 51 months followed by up to three years of supervised release. She also must pay restitution to the company. The actual sentence will be determined later by U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Wilton made a point of saying that Jacobsen's daughter, Jennifer Caza, knew nothing about her mother's crimes and is not suspected of any wrongdoing.
Jacobsen was released on an unsecured bond pending sentencing. Frank ordered her to stay away from all forms of gambling as a condition of her release.
Dan Browning • 612-673-4493