The organizer of the popular Lumberjack Days summer festival in Stillwater has been charged with 10 felonies, news sources report.
David Eckberg of Stillwater, 61, is being charged in Washington County District Court with five counts of theft and five of issuing a dishonored check, The Star Tribune reported. He owes more than $50,000 to distributors and business partners, investigators say, as The Pioneer Press reported.
A criminal complaint was filed in Washington County district court Thursday. It claims Eckberg wrote checks to four companies that provided services or products for the July 2011 Lumberjack Days Festival, but told them that not to cash them because his account had insufficient funds. The total of these checks is $54,859.25, The Star Tribune reported.
Police verified that there were in fact insufficient funds in Eckberg's bank account and various company accounts. However, the complaint states that Eckberg had cashed $41,000 into his company accounts and then moved the money into either his personal account or his wife's personal account, The Pioneer Press reported.
A letter demanding payment on the dishonored checks was issued to Eckberg by Stillwater police in November 2011. The complaint states that no payments were ever made, The Star Tribune reported.
"This has been a careful, painstaking investigation that has required the issuance of multiple search warrants and the review of boxes and boxes of documents," County Attorney Pete Orput told The Star Tribune. "Frankly, the victims deserve more than the criminal justice system can provide them."
The felony counts bring potential fines and a prison sentence, the Star Tribune reported.