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Former creamery manager sentenced

Denise Waldvogel

A former general manager of the Osakis Creamery Association who was accused of taking money from the business will serve 60 days in jail and pay $32,269 in restitution.

Denise Carol Waldvogel, 48, was sentenced in Douglas County District Court on Tuesday, Nov. 28, after she pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge of taking movable property without consent. As part of a plea agreement, a felony charge of theft by swindle was dismissed.

Waldvogel also was sentenced to 15 months in the Shakopee Correctional Facility but the prison time was stayed, meaning she won't have to serve it if she stays out of legal trouble during the five years she is on supervised probation.

Judge Ann Carrott attached 12 conditions to the sentence. Waldvogel must remain in contact with her probation officer, cooperate with searches and provide DNA samples, if directed. She can't use firearms or vote, and she can't leave the state without written court approval.

She must also establish a restitution payment plan with her probation agent and has to pay the restitution in full before she is released from probation.

Waldvogel's sentencing ends a case that also involved her husband, Curtis Dale Waldvogel, and a woman who was living in the Waldvogel's home, Tammy Lynn Popoe of Frazee.

The investigation started about a year ago after the president of the Osakis Creamery Association reported to police that Denise Waldvogel was fired because a financial audit showed funds were missing from the creamery. She was responsible for keeping books, making deposits and had authority to make purchases.

The creamery reported $42,361.58 was stolen. According to the criminal complaint, Denise Waldvogel used the money to repay a 401K loan, pay credit card accounts, pay property taxes that she and her husband owed, and deposited money into her personal accounts.

Curtis Waldvogel was charged with using one of the creamery's Menards credit cards over a two-year period, beginning in August 2014, to purchase items without permission. He was accused of making 33 unauthorized transactions at Menards totaling $6,334.96.

On Dec. 15, 2016, the Osakis Police Department issued a search warrant at the Waldvogels' home at 509 First Ave. East in Osakis as part of the swindle and fraud investigation.

During the search, police found four vacuum-packed bags that contained about 466 grams, or about a pound, of marijuana in a cooler that Curtis Waldvogel was carrying. They also found a package containing 13 grams of meth in a bedroom closet that belonged to him.

In July, Curtis Waldvogel was sentenced to 66 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to a third-degree controlled substance crime, possessing more than 10 grams of methamphetamine.

Curtis Waldvogel's jail time was stayed. He was placed on supervised probation for 20 years and ordered to pay $7,979.89 in restitution and $585 in fines and fees.

As part of a plea agreement, a fifth-degree drug charge, possession of marijuana, was dismissed, along with felony credit card fraud.

Officers also found meth belonging to Popoe, who was staying at the Waldvogels' residence at the time. She was sentenced May 31 to 56 months in prison for possessing more than 50 grams, or 1.8 ounces, of meth.

When contacted by the newspaper, Osakis Creamery Association management declined to comment on the sentencing.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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