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Ex-employee pleads not guilty to embezzlement

VIRGINIA — A former employee of Lanyk Electric in Mountain Iron pleaded not guilty this week to embezzling more than $20,000 from the company.

Melissa Godec Jondreau, 38, of Hibbing, pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft by swindle at an initial court appearance Monday in State District Court in Virginia.

According to the criminal complaint, Jondreau, who worked as a receptionist at the business, previously told authorities and her boss that she forged checks without authorization to pay for personal bills and gas.

On March 6, Craig Lanyk, owner of Lanyk Electric, requested that a St. Louis County deputy be on scene as he fired an employee for embezzlement, the complaint said. Lanyk reportedly provided the sheriff’s office with documentation showing that Jondreau had made unauthorized withdrawals and forged checks totaling more than $15,000 over nearly two years.

The information Lanyk provided also showed that Jondreau had charged more than $4,000 in gas for her personal vehicle, and nearly $500 was taken that Jondreau had listed as automatic withdrawals to Century Link, Dish Network and Sam’s Club, according to the complaint.

Jondreau’s next scheduled court appearance is a pretrial hearing Sept. 16.

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