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Perham woman admits clinic theft

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Perham woman admits clinic theft
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

A Perham woman who admitted Monday to stealing from an eye clinic where she used to work may avoid jail if she repays what she took, a prosecutor said.

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Ruth Ann Ramsay, 51, pleaded guilty in Otter Tail County (Minn.) District Court to one count of theft.

Under a plea agreement, she would avoid jail time if she pays restitution of more than $125,000 before her sentencing Nov. 17, said Michelle Eldien, assistant Otter Tail County attorney.

As part of the agreement, she is to pay an additional $20,000 over the five years of her probation.

Ramsay admitted in court to taking money from the Perham Eye Clinic, which is part of the Minnesota EyeCare Network, Eldien said.

According to court documents, Ramsay handled the operation's financial transactions for years.

When company officials asked her about suspicious transactions at a meeting of the clinic's board in September 2007, she refused to answer questions and began cleaning out her desk, court documents said.

In arriving at a plea agreement, Eldien said officials from the eye clinic let prosecutors know they were more interested in recouping financial losses than in seeing Ramsay serve time in jail.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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