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Dean's employee charged for theft of $59,000

PERHAM - Francis Williams, 25, of Perham, has been formally charged on two felony counts--theft and theft by swindle--for allegedly stealing approximately $59,000 from the Perham Dean's Country Market grocery store.

The estimated amount embezzled was confirmed by Perham Police Chief Brian Nelson, who said Williams was discovered to have been stealing from the store since August or September of 2007.

Williams was hired at the store in March of 2007. According to Nelson, she worked in a clerical position.

"Internally, they found some numbers that didn't look right at Dean's," Chief Nelson said of how the missing money was originally discovered. "They found that the deposits didn't match the till totals."

The possible theft of cash from the store was first brought to police attention this May. The investigative process began with Nelson advising the Dean's Country Market staff to locate the total loss and find out how much money was taken.

According to police records, Nelson also requested administrative subpoenas for area banks for accounts in the suspect's name. Nelson received the official complaint on Monday, June 30.

When asked what's next for Williams, Nelson explained, "She'll have a court appearance where she'll be asked to enter a plea ... If it's not guilty, then they'll schedule a trial."

"We're still in the preliminary stages of where the money went," Nelson commented.