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Ocheyedan woman pleads guilty to theft from Sibley business

SIBLEY, Iowa -- Linda Rae Kleve, 59, of Ocheyedan, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree theft and fraudulent practice in Osceola County District Court.

The charges, lowered to lesser offenses for a plea agreement, stem from Kleve's misappropriation of funds from Ellerbroek and Associates between 2004 and 2010.

Kleve admitted in court she had access to Ellerbroek bank accounts because of her position as the company's office manager. While in that position, she diverted funds into premiums that insured her and her two sons for automobile and home coverage.

The total value of the coverage she is accused of fraudulently receiving is in excess of $20,000.

"Did you know that what you were doing was wrong?" asked Judge Patrick Carr.

"Yes, I did," Kleve replied.

The plea agreement calls for probation on one of the charges, but will allow the prosecution to argue for up to 120 days of jail time on the other at the time of sentencing.

According to Osceola County Attorney Robert Hansen, the agreement also states Kleve will pay $5,000 in restitution on or before the sentencing, but if a total amount cannot be agreed upon, a restitution hearing will take place.

Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for June 14 after a pre-sentence investigation is carried out.