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Daughter-in-law accused of stealing mother-in-law's assets faces 12 felonies

Martina Christie

MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — A woman accused of using her mother-in-law's assets to support a lavish lifestyle, while the older woman was evicted from a nursing home, made her initial appearance Tuesday in Chippewa County District Court in Montevideo.

Martina Annette Christie, 61, of Billings, Montana, faces 12 felony charges for the alleged financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

She is currently held in the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls with bail set at $500,000 for release without conditions and $250,000 for release with conditions.

Her husband, Michael Scott Christie, 63, is charged with two felony accounts for financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

The charges allege that the couple exploited $340,000 of Michael's mother's estate.

They allegedly used more than $40,000 of her financial resources for their own lifestyles. Court documents also allege that Michael Christie transferred two parcels of Chippewa County farmland worth a combined $300,000 to Martina Christie for consideration of less than $500.

Michael Christie's mother died in February 2015. Prior to that, the Clarkfield woman was evicted from the Clarkfield Care Center for non-payment in late 2014 and accumulated over $72,000 in expenses.

The criminal complaint says Michael and Martina Christie paid the Care Center only $200 during that period, while they spent over $6,000 on clothing for themselves and wrote themselves $6,000 worth of checks.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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