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$448,000 fraud is admitted in court

A Welch woman has admitted to embezzling more than $448,000 from her former employer.

Janet Sue Pederson, 58, pleaded guilty Jan. 18 before U.S. District Court Judge John Tunheim to one count of bank fraud.

According to court documents, she admitted to knowingly and intentionally embezzling from North American Trailer Sales of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., between January 2001 and July 2005.

As the company's office and human resources manager, she had access to the checking account. She wrote business checks to her personal bank and credit card accounts, forged signatures of the person authorized to sign checks and made false entries in the company books.

Pederson was charged Dec. 28, 2007. One count of money laundering was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

A federal judge will determine Pederson's sentence. She could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million penalty.

The Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Division investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Rank prosecuted it.