Ridgeland couple bound over for trial in $10,000 fraud case

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — A Ridgeland couple has been bound over for trial in connection with felony charges of defrauding a financial institution out of a little more than $10,000.

Shane L. Cutting, 45, and Laminda L. Hanson, 47, appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing October 23 before Judge Rod Smeltzer.

Cutting appeared with his attorney, George E. Miller.

Hanson was in court without an attorney.

For the purposes of the preliminary hearing, Judge Smeltzer allowed both cases to be heard together.

Although the defendants’ interests are alike, joint representation by one attorney would be a conflict of interest, the court explained.

Hanson is expected to obtain a public defender to represent her in the case.

Cutting is charged with two felony counts of identity theft and fraud against a financial institution exceeding $10,000 but less than $100,000.

Hanson is charged with one felony count of fraud against a financial institution exceeding $10,000 but less than $100,000.

Bail was set with a $500 signature bond for both Cutting and Hanson at a May 2 hearing.

According to the criminal complaint, on March 7, an individual contacted the Menomonie police department to say $11,000 had been fraudulently withdrawn from his Royal Credit Union accounts.

According to the alleged victim, referred to as BH in the criminal complaint, Cutting had called RCU March 3 and March 4 and had transferred $10,000 into Cutting’s account and $1,000 into Hanson’s account. The $10,000 was then transferred out of Cutting’s account into Hanson’s account, and Hanson went to the bank and withdrew the $10,000 on March 3. RCU reversed the money transfer on the $1,000 put into Hanson’s account on March 4, according to the complaint.

The individual who said $10,000 had been fraudulently withdrawn from his bank account told investigators the money was his portion of a construction contract, and he had waited until the end to take his payment.

The individual said he had been awarded a contract in July of 2016 through the Chippewa Valley Housing Authority. During the project, several checks had been issued to pay for materials, wages and subcontractors. He had deposited $10,000 into his savings account and $2,000 into his checking account on March 1, according to the complaint.

Cutting and Hanson are scheduled to be arraigned in Dunn County Circuit Court January 8.