Embezzlement from employer nets probation, high restitution

Tuesday,

A project manager for Shingobee Builders Company was sentenced to five years on probation and 90 days in the Hennepin County workhouse for swindling nearly $200,000 from the company, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Cale Lavoie, 47, whose home address is on Happy Go Lucky Road in Pillager, pleaded guilty to one of the three charges of theft by swindle last month. As part of his probation, he must pay restitution to Shingobee of $197,330 and have no contact with the company. At his sentencing Monday morning, the judge found him eligible for home confinement with electronic monitoring for all of those 90 days. If Lavoie follows all the conditions over the next five years, his record will show only a misdemeanor.

At his February guilty plea, Lavoie admitted to the facts of the criminal complaint, which in summary said that as project manager, he oversaw the construction budgets and bids from subcontractors. Lavoie would use these connections to inflate bid submissions, approve them and then either split the excess funds with the subcontractors or take the difference for himself.

The scheme lasted from 2015 to mid-2017 when Lavoie left the company and the owner became suspicious and found emails Lavoie had sent that indicated what he was doing.

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