By Cara L. Dempski
MENOMONIE — A St. Croix County woman was convicted of multiple counts of forgery last week in Dunn County Circuit Court after a 2016 Boyceville counterfeiting case.
Lori N. Klund, age 42 of Wilson, was found guilty of nine counts of forgery in a trial that started January 25, and ended after a jury deliberated for just three hours before returning to the courtroom with its verdict.
The former Boyceville resident was charged in August 2016 with nine counts of forgery – two of uttering a forgery and seven more of a forgery – after a search warrant was executed on her home.
According to the associated criminal complaint, the Boyceville police department was notified in early August of counterfeit United States currency being passed at two local businesses. The complaint goes on to state two counterfeit $20 bills were used to pay for items at the Boyceville Cenex station July 31, 2016, and a third was used to pay for a purchase at Buckshot Bar and Grill that same day.
Klund was identified as a suspect after she was seen on security footage from the Cenex store during the time period it was believed the bills were passed.
The complaint also indicated the bills found at both businesses and in Klund’s home bore similar distinguishing features. Among these were clear misalignment between the front and back of the bills, a lack of water marks, a lack of magnetic strips, and the metallic marks on the bills appeared too “shiny” and seemed to be colored in.
Boyceville police chief executed a search warrant on the home Klund shared with significant other Zachary Morgan on August 4, 2016, and discovered multiple counterfeit denominations of U.S. Currency in the home.
The complaint further indicated a further 19 bills were found in Klund’s home during the search, bringing the total number of bills to 22. Of those discovered in the defendant’s home, there was one $5 bill, one $50 bill, one $100 bill, two $10 bills, and 14 more $20 bills divided between three different serial numbers.
The search also yielded metallic gel pens discovered in Klund’s purse, which appeared to be color matches for the ink on the counterfeit bills. While it had previously been reported in this paper that the ink in the pens was an exact match for that on the bills, that was not accurate.
Prosecutor Andrew Maki opened the January 25 trial by informing the jury Klund was charged with two counts of uttering a forgery for the bills passed at the two Boyceville businesses, and seven more for the other bills discovered in her purse and a bank envelope.
Maki stated he intended to prove Klund used the dollar bills discovered at Buckshot’s and Cenex with full knowledge they were not legal tender.
Defense attorney Scott Schlough argued his client did not know the money was counterfeit, as it had been provided to her by a friend of Morgan’s. Per Schlough, Morgan contacted someone to provide money to Klund so she could attend her son’s swearing-in ceremony while he was out working out of state.
Schlough also spoke about witness Juan Campos, who pled guilty to forgery charges related to this case in 2017. According to that criminal complaint, Campos was the person who purchased the printer at Walmart.
The defense’s opening statement indicated the counterfeit bills did not show up in the local area until after Campos’ arrival, and disappeared shortly after he left. In short, Schlough informed the jury the case would prove that everyone but Klund knew the bills were counterfeit.
Jurors heard testimony from Teresa Raehsler, manager of the Boyceville Cenex, Kathy Hanson, who was working at the Cenex when the bills were passed, and Jamie Tilleson, owner of Buckshot’s Bar and Grill.
Raehsler and Tilleson both stated the bills in question felt odd to their fingers, and Raehsler specifically said she pulled the bills from the stack of money she was counting because it “did not feel right.”
When it was all said and done January 26, the jury returned to Smeltzer’s courtroom with a guilty verdict on all nine counts. All charges are class H felonies, and punishable in Wisconsin by up to six years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, or both per count.
Maki recommended a withheld sentence of two years probation on each count to be served concurrently and 90 days in jail. He also asked for $528 in court costs per charge. Schlough requested a sentence of court costs only.
Defense counsel also asked the sentence be delayed indefinitely, citing an intent to appeal the decision.
Smeltzer agreed to Maki’s request for probation and jail time as described, and ordered Klund pay $268 court charges per count, along with a $250 DNA surcharge and $10 drug surcharge on each charge, for a total of $2,752.
Klund was ordered to report to the Dunn County Jail by March 2, 2018, and warned she cannot vote or possess a firearm.