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Former Amdahl bookkeeper charged with theft

Felony charges were filed against a Goodhue woman last week following an 18-month investigation into financial activity at Red Wing Chevrolet.

Goodhue County prosecutors charged the dealership's former bookkeeper, Terri Ann Knudsen, with felony theft by swindle and two counts of felony forgery.

According to a criminal complaint filed Nov. 24, Knudsen allegedly stole thousands from the dealership through a series of complex financial transactions.

Dealership owner Tim Amdahl contacted police in June 2008, reporting employee fraud and theft.

Prosecutors say that numerous forged checks and entries from May 2001 to March 2007 were discovered, totaling $29,547.50. In January 2008, Knudsen signed a promissory note that acknowledged the transactions as illegal and agreed to repay the full amount over time, the complaint states.

After Knudsen left the dealership, officials there discovered an additional shortage of at least $109,320. The dealership's external accountant told investigators that in addition to the forged checks, Knudsen also used multiple entries and misdirected entries to access the additional funds.

The entries allegedly included dealer-to-dealer transactions and auction sales.

Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Carol Lee said that while the agreement to repay the $29,547 is still in effect, other details need to be worked out.

"Restitution is an open issue at this point," Lee said.

Knudsen, reached Tuesday by the R-E, said she had no comment on the case.

Amdahl was not in his office Tuesday, but dealership employee Pat Wondrasch said the owner declined to comment on the case.

Online court records did not turn up any other criminal history for Knudsen.

She is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 15, 2010.