Former office manager sentenced for fraudSIBLEY, Iowa — A document filed Tuesday in Osceola County District Court sentences Linda Rae Kleve to 100 days in jail for third-degree fraudulent practice.
SIBLEY, Iowa — A document filed Tuesday in Osceola County District Court sentences Linda Rae Kleve to 100 days in jail for third-degree fraudulent practice.
A sentence of up to five years in prison for Kleve’s second-degree theft conviction was suspended on the condition she serves three years of probation.
Kleve, 59, of Ocheyedan, Iowa, was charged in October 2010 with first- and second-degree fraudulent practice after using her position as the office manager at Ellerbroek and Associates to insure herself and family members, also paying herself a commission on the auto and home policies.
In April, Kleve entered into a plea agreement with the state.
The case went before the court for pronouncement of judgment June 14, but the judge opted to take the matter under submission for a final determination of sentence. That final determination is what was filed this week.
The judgment order states Kleve will be restricted to her county of residence within the state of Iowa during her three years of probation unless exceptions are made with her supervising agent. She is also ordered to pay $27,739 in restitution.
While she serves the 100 days jail time, she will be allowed work release provided she is gainfully employed when she enters jail July 15.
The document states Kleve committed 137 “planned and calculated” acts of theft from her employer within a six-year period, “which clearly breached the trust given to her by her employer.”
“The defendant’s acts were not justified by the fact she and her husband were short of money to meet their financial obligations,” the judgment states. “Many Iowans are in the same position and don’t steal from their employer to make ends meet.”
During the June 14 hearing, Ellerbroek & Associates President Wade Ellerbroek read a victim impact statement to the judge, explaining what amounts were stolen by Kleve in insurance premiums and commissions.
She also, he said, wrote herself out a paycheck for unearned days off before she quit.
“(Kleve) has also told a countless number of lies to community members regarding her quitting her job, as well as slanderous stories about agency personnel,” Ellerbroek stated.
Kleve’s crimes resulted in approximately 300 hours of additional work for other employees, costing more than $4,000 in payroll expense, Ellerbroek reported.
“Only the people you trust can steal from you,” he told the judge. “When the initial theft was caught, it was a real disappointment. As the full extent of the embezzlement was discovered, disappointment is an understatement.”
Ellerbroek said even though Kleve claimed she and her husband have no assets, he himself provided documentation to the county attorney showing they have farm corporation shares valued at over $150,000.
“I want to be made whole and receive total repayment immediately for the thefts and other expenses incurred by the agency,” he stated. “I would ask that (Kleve) be held accountable for her many crimes, and that the message sent is that white collar crime does not pay. … I ask that justice be served.”
Kleve is ordered to pay $5,000 of the restitution immediately.
The remaining sums will be paid in accordance with a plan established by her supervising agent.
She is also ordered to pay more than $800 in fines and fees.