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Princeton man charged with racketeering, theft and filing false tax returns stemming from theft of over $350,000 from elderly victim

5/31/2016 11:11:50 AM

MILACA, MN – Following an investigation by the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and Mille Lac County Sheriff’s Office, the Mille Lacs County Attorney has filed multiple felony charges against a Princeton man for defrauding an 82-year-old Milaca businessman out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Adam R. Reichow, 43, is charged with two counts of racketeering, three counts of theft by swindle and two counts of filing a false tax return. In addition, his wife Mary Kay Reichow is charged with two counts of filing a false tax return. 

“Reichow befriended the elderly victim and then proceeded to steal from him and his business,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Agents from the Commerce Fraud Bureau worked with the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office to investigate this complex fraud scheme. The case rises to the level of racketeering because Reichow engaged in a pattern of criminal activity exploiting the victim’s business to steal money and invest in real estate.”

“The Mille Lacs County Attorney’s Office takes allegations of financial crimes seriously and looks forward to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that justice is achieved in this case,” said Mille Lacs County Attorney Joe Walsh.  “We are committed to the victim and defendants receiving a fair trial.”

“Based upon concerns of citizens, an initial report was opened in the Sheriff’s office for investigation and a Financial Crimes Deputy was assigned to look into those concerns and allegations,” said Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren. “Over the past several years of investigation and coordination with our law enforcement partners, including the Department of Commerce and the Mille Lacs County Attorney’s Office, it has culminated in holding this person accountable for his criminal actions. While we often want immediate results, the reality is that these complex and extensive investigations sometimes take additional time, resources and further coordination and communication between many agencies to ensure we are best serving all those involved. In the case at hand, that is what has transpired.”

According to the criminal complaint:

Adam Reichow was hired in 2010 to work as a general laborer in the victim’s business, Dalchow Seeds. Because of the victim’s declining health, Reichow’s activities quickly expanded to management of accounts, sales and the handling of business funds. 

Between 2010 and 2012, Reichow received checks from the victim totaling more than $350,000. The checks were issued to Reichow from the victim’s personal and business checking accounts, including business funds intended to pay seed wholesalers. The victim was unaware of the thefts until creditors began contacting him in an effort to collect on past due bills. At that point, the victim learned Reichow had drained his bank accounts.

Among other things, Reichow used the stolen money to purchase three separate farm properties as well as buildings, livestock and machinery.

Reichow and his wife filed tax returns showing a federal adjusted gross income of $13,582 in 2010 and $11,519 in 2011. A detailed review of their bank records shows that, in 2011 alone, they received more than $219,000 from the victim.

Commerce is here to help

If you have a question or concern about a possible fraud or scam, contact the Department of Commerce Consumer Services Center by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

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