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Mazeppa woman pleads guilty to insurance fraud

A 54-year-old Mazeppa woman pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of insurance fraud in connection with embezzling approximately $259,000 from her Lake City employer.

Wanda Jane Schafer's guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

According to court records, she became manager of the Gillford Mutual Fire Insurance Co. in 2000 and the

acting agent for the Gillford Agency, a related insurance entity, in February 2001.

From November 2002, to Oct. 12, 2006, Schafer embezzled and misappropriated approximately $259,000 of monies and premiums belonging to Gillford.

The embezzlement did not jeopardize the safety and soundness of the insurance companies, according to the plea agreement.

Schafer appeared before Judge Richard Kyle today in St. Paul before United States District Court. She was charged on June 6.

Schafer faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. She will be sentenced at a later date.

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