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Glenwood woman sentenced to pay nearly $49,000 restitution for swindling Pope County man

Jana Marie Zenner of Glenwood has been ordered to pay restitution to a Pope County man she swindled under cover of offering to help him pay his bills. She must repay $48,921.72 in monthly payments.

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Zenner

GLENWOOD β€” A Glenwood woman has been sentenced to pay nearly $49,000 in restitution for swindling a Pope County man in 2019.

Jana Marie Zenner, 38, was sentenced in early June to pay $48,921.72 in regular payments to the victim. She had pleaded guilty in February in Pope County District Court.

Zenner stole the money under the guise of helping the man pay his bills., according to court records. He was in his late 80s and had recently lost his wife.

Zenner received a stay of imposition of sentence, under which she was found guilty but did not receive a sentence. If she successfully completes five years of probation, the conviction would be listed on her record as a misdemeanor. If she violates probation, she could face jail time.

Zenner was also ordered to complete 40 hours of community service work.

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Conditions of her probation include obeying the law, undergoing psychological evaluation and writing a letter of apology.

The man's bank, Bonanza Valley State Bank of Brooten, reported unusual withdrawals from his account, according to court records.

Bank records indicated many larger checks were written from the man’s account in addition to checks to pay his bills.

From January through March in 2019, Zenner wrote checks to herself, family members and her businesses, according to court records.

Zenner also faces a felony theft-by-swindle charge in Stearns County for allegedly manipulating charitable gambling games and proceeds to swindle about $136,000 from the Brooten Commercial Club. The thefts were estimated to have taken place between May 2016 and December 2018, according to court records.

The next court date on the Stearns County charge has not been scheduled.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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