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Wheeler couple accused of selling land twice pay full restitution

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — Charges have been dismissed against a Wheeler couple accused of selling the same five acres of land to two different buyers after the couple paid full restitution to the alleged victims.

Douglas Snyder, 50, and Lisa Snyder, 45, were charged with one felony count each of theft and false representation greater than $10,000.

The Honorable Judge William Stewart Jr. granted a motion to dismiss the charges in Dunn County Circuit Court August 5 after being informed that the Snyders had paid full restitution.

Dunn County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maki filed the motion to dismiss the charges and said that while the alleged victims had been notified, they had no additional statements to make to the court.

The Snyders were accused of accepting payments of $10,000 from Shane Cutting, and his girlfriend, Laminda Hanson, over a period of years for five acres in the Town of Hay River and then selling an eight-acre parcel that contained the five acres to Andrew DeRaad for $16,000.

Cutting contacted the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department in March of 2012 to say that he had purchased five acres of land for $10,000 from Doug and Lisa Snyder and that he had been trying to get the Snyders to draft a sales contract so the property could be registered in his own name.

Cutting said he had also heard rumors that the Snyders were trying to sell the same property to someone else, and that while he did not have a sales contract, he did have all of the receipts showing the payments had been made for the property.

Cutting told investigators that the Snyders had agreed on a price of $10,000 for five acres, that payments equaling $8,500 had been made and that the initial down payment was a motor vehicle valued at $1,500.

Hanson confirmed the information Cutting had given to investigators with a small booklet containing carbon copies of checks for each of the payments, a receipt for $500 in cash and a receipt for the vehicle.

The Snyders pleaded not guilty to the charges in January.

Theft and false representation greater than $10,000 is a Class G felony that carries a  potential fine of not more than $25,000 and a prison term of not more than ten years or both.