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Woman charged with taking money from vulnerable adult

WILLMAR -- A 43-year-old Willmar woman made her first appearance Thursday on three felony charges for allegedly taking $1,710 from a vulnerable woman whom she befriended by helping with household chores.

Kristi Friese faces charges for financial transaction card fraud and financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult in Kandiyohi County District Court. She was released on her personal recognizance and ordered to have no contact with the woman or her guardian.

Her next appearance is July 19.

According to the complaint, a woman contacted Willmar police May 24 and reported a large amount of money was missing from her relative's bank account. The woman had been appointed as guardian over the woman, who is a vulnerable adult. Records showed a total of $1,710 in withdrawals from automatic teller machines at several locations in Willmar. The transactions had occurred between May 10 and 19. The guardian had suspected Friese because she had come to the woman's home to do clean up work.

The vulnerable woman told the officer Friese had appeared at her door and asked if she had any house chores that she could do. The woman said she didn't make the withdrawals and had been very adamant that she get money herself from an ATM machine.

Friese was interviewed and said that she had gone to an ATM machine several times and taken money, but claimed she had the woman's permission to do so.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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