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Lake City man sentenced for embezzlement

After pleading guilty to felony theft charges, a Lake City man was sentenced to 45 days in jail and ordered to pay $500 in restitution to his victims Tuesday in Wabasha County court.

In 2008, while managing the Seventh Street Building Center in Lake City, Kevin Krueger embezzled at least $7,449 over a six-month period, according to a Wabasha County criminal complaint.

The $500 is the business's insurance deductible.

In addition to his 45 days in jail, Krueger is under a five-year stay of imposition and will have to meet a number of conditions to avoid more jail time, said Wabasha County Assistant Attorney Lisa Bayley.

He will pay the $500 to Brian and Karan Smith, the former owners of the Seventh Street Building Center. The lumberyard and home improvement store has gone out of business.

Bayley said the sentence was appropriate.

Wednesday Brian Smith said, "I'm pretty satisfied that justice is being served. I'm pretty happy about the outcome."

Smith said he hired Krueger to run the store while he ran his construction company.

After the recent downturn in the economy Smith said he laid off a number of his staff members, including Krueger. Smith said he then took a closer look at his company's finances.

"The numbers weren't adding up," he said.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith used store records and surveillance cameras to document a variety of ways in which Krueger ripped off the store.

The Smiths said they plan to file a civil suit to recover more than the $500 deductible.