Ten years of probation for man on felony theft by swindle plea

A man who pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court to a felony theft by swindle charge after being accused of bilking a St. Francis couple out of $52,000 has been put on probation for 10 years.

At a sentencing hearing May 19, Robert Lee Thompson, 28, the court dismissed five other felony charges and gave him credit for 31 days spent in jail, but imposed a $3,300. A decision on restitution was reserved.

Probation conditions include undergoing a psychological evaluation and treatment, submitting a DNA sample, random urinalysis and breath testing, no contract with the victims and no use of mood-altering drugs or alcohol.

According to the complaint, the incidents occurred between Jan. 1, 2009 and July 16, 2013 when Thompson had power of attorney over the couple because the husband had medical issues.

In late June 2013, St. Francis Police officers, responding to a residence on a report of theft and unauthorized use of a credit card, were told by the wife that Thompson had used their credit card to make purchases without their consent and she had given him $12,000 to facilitate a silent partnership with the owner of a restaurant in St. Francis, telling them would receive residuals once the business made a profit.

But police found there was no silent partnership agreement with the restaurant owner involving either the couple or Thompson, who admitted he had used the couple’s credit card without their permission and that he did deceive them when he made up the story about the business investment.

He told police that he had only swindled $1,000 from the couple, using it for himself, and he was also responsible for using the credit card without permission for a total amount of $1,000.

One of the couple’s sons contacted police Aug. 8, 2013, stating that Thompson had persuaded his mother to pay a $40,000 fine to the FBI for video piracy, according to the complaint.

The couple’s bank confirmed that they had just closed on a loan of $40,000 and documents showed that it was to pay a fine for copying movies. A cashier’s check was written to Thompson for $20,000 and the other check was placed in the couple’s bank account, which the woman withdrew in cash in amounts of $5,000 until the money was gone.

Police contacted the FBI, who confirmed that the couple had never been investigated, nor does it send out letters demanding money.

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