Convicted embezzler faces theft charges

Published 10:45 am Friday, November 2, 2012

A former Mower County employee who a decade ago embezzled tens of thousands of dollars in public funds is again in court for a charge of felony theft.

Cheryl Lynn Barrett, 53, of Austin, and former public health nurse, made her first appearance Thursday in Mower County Court. According to the court complaint, Barrett allowed others to steal items from Apollo Superette while she was working there.

An officer spoke to Barrett at Apollo on March 3 after she was fired. After several months, officers reviewed video surveillance of Barrett allowing others to take cigarettes, gum, chicken, drinks, candy and lottery tickets.

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Barrett later admitted to an officer that she allowed others to steal $401.98 worth of items over a five-day period in February 2012, according to the court complaint. The complaint adds Barrett also admitted to stealing about $3,700 worth of cigarettes over a 27-month period. Barrett had been an employee at Apollo since 2010. Her next court appearance is set for Nov. 15.

In 2002, Barrett was convicted of felony embezzlement of public funds after she pleaded guilty. While she avoided prison time, she was ordered to pay more than $55,000 in restitution. According to the Minnesota Judicial System’s records, she still owes more than $22,000.