No plea deal for Boyceville woman in Elk Mound bank theft of $48,000

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — A plea agreement has not yet been reached for a 31-year-old Boyceville woman accused of stealing $48,000 from Bremer Bank in Elk Mound.

Amber C. Goodell appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court March 17 with her attorney, William Laman, who reported that there was no plea deal and that he had received a new offer from Dunn County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maki.

Laman requested a new date for a plea and sentencing hearing.

Judge Phillip Todryk noted that Goodell has not yet waived her right to a preliminary hearing and that the case has never been set for a preliminary hearing.

Laman told Judge Todryk that he is planning to submit various written materials to the court prior to sentencing.

According to the complaint, two representatives from Bremer Bank had been conducting an internal investigation when they discovered that $48,000 had been embezzled by an employee at Bremer Bank’s location in Elk Mound.

The two employees who were investigating the theft, Shannon Anderson and Wendy Schreiner, presented evidence to Dunn County investigators showing how Goodell had removed the money from the bank.

When deputies asked Goodell to explain what had happened, Goodell said she had started stealing money from the bank several years ago, perhaps in 2010, and that she had started with smaller amounts and then had progressed to larger amounts until a total of $48,000 had been stolen, according to the complaint.

Goodell told investigators she had removed the money from her cash drawer at the bank and had concealed the missing money by making false transactions with the bank’s vault.

Goodell also told investigators that she “pretty much knew she was caught” about a month earlier when she had created a fake transaction indicating that the missing money had been sold to the Federal Reserve.

According to a fact sheet provided by Bremer Bank, on August 30, a scheduled audit of all the teller drawers and the vault, in preparation for converting to a new teller system, revealed that all teller drawers and the bank vault balanced.

The criminal complaint goes on to say that on October 2, one of the tellers at Bremer Bank in Elk Mound received al telephone call from the bank’s accounting department regarding an entry made on August 30 in the amount of $48,000 for a “sell” of cash to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The Federal Reserve did not have a match for the sale.

Goodell is scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court for a 30-minute plea and sentencing hearing on May 13 at 3 p.m.