It's wasn't easy for John Kieser to come home from Iraq and see that his wife, Dana, really had cashed out two of his accounts, sold their Maplewood home and moved with their two young sons to Fargo, N.D.
It wasn't easy for him either to sit in a St. Paul courtroom last month and watch as she was found guilty of two counts of check forgery.
John Kieser sat with his family members again Thursday as Dana Kieser, now his ex-wife, was sentenced to 30 days in the workhouse and 10 years on probation.
Dana Kieser was convicted May 2 by a Ramsey County jury on the two felony charges.
She used a power-of-attorney document to close out her husband's retirement and college-savings accounts, forged his name on the two checks totaling almost $25,000, bought a home in Fargo and sold their home in Maplewood, all without John Kieser's knowledge or consent, the jury heard.
On Thursday, Dana Kieser's attorney, Ken Kohler, told District Judge James H. Clark that a North Dakota judge had already considered restitution as part of the couple's divorce decree, and for the judge to award more would be "paying the victim double."
Kohler said his client is "financially strapped." He also asked that she be allowed to serve her sentence in North Dakota on home monitoring or work release.
Clark said the amount of restitution will be left to the probation department and reminded Kohler, "This is a criminal matter, not family court." According to court documents, John Kieser has asked for more than $28,000 in restitution.
The judge gave Dana Kieser until June 26 to turn herself in or to have the sentence transferred to North Dakota.
John Kieser left the courtroom with his two brothers, his father and his aunt. They declined to talk to a reporter. Dana Kieser left with her attorney. They would not comment, either.
Pat Pheifer • 651-298-1551