Former mayoral candidate accepts plea deal for check forgery

Published 5:08 pm Saturday, June 11, 2011

Zeke Thadduss Dahl — a former contender in the 2010 Austin mayoral race — has taken a plea deal and pleaded guilty to forging checks in his grandmother’s name.

Dahl, 33, entered his plea Friday morning in Mower County Court. One charge of financial transaction card fraud was dismissed as part of the plea agreement, according to court documents. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15.

According to a court complaint, Dahl’s grandmother reported on Dec. 10 that Dahl had taken around $8,000 from her bank account without her permission by using her bank card and forging some of her checks.

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His grandmother reportedly told police he had a “bad gambling habit” and had admitted to taking the $8,000 before he went to gambling treatment. Apparently the bank told her she could only be reimbursed if she pursued criminal charges.

On Dec. 23, Austin police spoke with Dahl over the phone, at which point he admitted to making unauthorized purchases and withdrawals using his grandmother’s account, including forging checks in her name. According to the court complaint, Dahl admitted that he stole around $5,000 from her, but did not deny that the total may have been closer to $8,000.

Police obtained copies of an affidavit of check fraud, checking account statements, savings account statements and numerous copies of processed checks.

The former mayoral candidate came in last in the August primaries with only 103 votes. He ran on the immigration platform, pushing more federal dollars and enforcement in Austin. He also focused on the importance of keeping tax money circulating in Austin and not allowing so much of it to escape into the state’s hands.