It took the jury less than two hours to find a former Anoka businessman guilty of two felony counts of theft by swindle from his employees.
David Elvig, who is also a Ramsey City Council member, was convicted April 19 by an Anoka County District Court jury. His sentencing date has been scheduled for June 17.
Under sentencing guidelines, these would be probation offences, but the prosecution could ask that Elvig serve a jail sentence and pay restitution, said Prosecutor Susan Crumb, an assistant Hennepin County Attorney.
Crumb said she would not make a recommendation on the case until pre-sentencing investigation as been completed.
Defense attorney Richard Malacko had no comment on the verdict.
According to the September 2011 complaint, which was originally handled by the Isanti County Attorney’s Office, Elvig, the owner of E-Street Makers, embezzled $19,596.83 from his employees’ 401(k) profit sharing, group health and dental plans, from April 23, 2009 to Jan. 14, 2010.
E-Street Makers, once located at 731 Lund Blvd., went out of business in December 2009 and its assets were foreclosed on in March 2011.
The U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits and Security (EBSA) investigated Elvig for misappropriating employee contributions to the 401(k) profit sharing plan, group health care and dental plans and 401(k) loan repayments.
The investigation found that Elvig kept the contributions in E-Street’s general operating account and used it to pay business expenses, such as payroll, instead of applying it to the three employee plans for up to 15 employees.
As a result, the health plan was terminated July 30, 2009, retroactive effective to May 31, 2009 and dental plan was terminated effective March 1, 2009, according to the complaint.
In addition to losing earnings on their 401(k) plans, employees with 401(k) loans defaulted on their repayments as a result of the money not being transferred to the plan and they were subjected to costly penalties and taxes, according to the complaint.
Elvig was originally charged Sept. 8, 2011 in Anoka County District Court with two felony counts of theft by swindle and theft by take/use/transfer of moveable property.
The case was transferred to the Isanti County Attorney’s Office because of possible conflict of interest with Elvig being a Ramsey City Council member.
The charges were amended Aug. 29, 2012 by the Isanti County Attorney’s Office to add 24 additional felony and 30 gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor charges of theft by swindle, theft by take/use or transfer of movable property as well as theft by indifference to owner rights, representing each E-Street Makers, Inc. employee.
When the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office took over the case in January, the complaint was amended again to drop 52 counts, leaving Elvig charged with two aggravated felony counts of theft by swindle.
Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]