Benson man charged with swindling over $63,000 from friend

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Andy Lynn Jaeger, 51, Benson, has been charged with one felony count of theft by swindle for allegedly taking a local friend for more than $63,000.

According to the complaint filed in 8th Judicial District Court in Benson, Jaeger played upon the emotions of his friend in claiming he had cancer, couldn’t afford the treatments, and would be cut off if he couldn’t come up with the money to pay his bills.

Jaeger was in court last Wednesday for an omnibus hearing on the charges with his next court date set for April 26. The maximum penalty for the crime is a $100,000 fine and 20 years in jail.

The complaint filed last October states Jaeger would receive cash from a local bank once or more every week starting Jan. 25, 2016. In all, 40 payments were made. In January, he received just $550, but in February that amount jumped to $7,070. However, it was March where the big amounts started being taken out with more frequency. Checks as high as $3,200 were cashed for Jaeger with the March total coming to $23,000.

In April, he got $11,680 and in May $15,900. June the payments tapered off to $5,060 with the last check being written June 24. At this point the total of the checks written came to $63,260.

As the amount of the checks written rose, bank employees became concerned when they believed that their customer had given Jaeger at least $50,000, the complaint says.

An officer at the bank advised the person that he should stop giving away so much money. However, “the customer did not believe he was getting scammed, and said he was just helping someone in need.” The bank notified the Benson police at this point.

When a Benson police officer interviewed the person giving away the funds, he said that Jaeger had told him that “he had cancer and needed help paying for his treatments.” He claimed he was being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and that the travel expenses were a lot. “Jaeger said they would not give him the full treatment until he paid for the costs,” the complaint says....

 

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