Skip to main content

Charges: Project manager stole $350K from employer to build a cabin

The 46-year-old was caught after the CEO monitored his emails.

The former project manager for a Hennepin County construction company has been charged with embezzling more than $350,000 from the firm.

Cale Lavoie, 46, of Pillager, was charged this week with three counts of theft-by swindle after a period of alleged embezzlement between 2015-17.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says that Lavoie oversaw the construction budgets and subcontracting bids for Shingobee Builders Company, based in Loretto in the northwest Twin Cities metro.

Using his position as project manager, Lavoie would allegedly inflate bid submissions, approve them, and then either "split the excess funds with the subcontractors or take the difference for himself."

He came under suspicion when he handed in his notice, with the Shingobee CEO starting to monitor his emails. In July 2017, the CEO reported to police he'd found suspicious emails that led him to believe Lavoie had been stealing from the company.

Among these emails were two proposals from the Wilderness Company, Inc. for the same building project, but the one Lavoie approved was $40,000 higher than the other.

Further emails and a spreadsheet found by the CEO suggested Lavoie "was using funds from the company to build his cabin in Baxter, MN."

Medina police found numerous payments where Wilderness Company used the excess funds from the bids to pay for construction on Lavoie's cabin. Police found other checks written directly to Lavoie from Wilderness Company and two more construction firms.

"The investigator contacted Wilderness Company, Inc. and spoke to a man (and now witness) there who confirmed that Lavoie would inflate bids on projects and take the money, which was the difference between the higher bid and the actual cost, to help remodel his cabin," the complaint says.In total, Lavoie allegedly inflated the bids of nine proposals from the three subcontractors between Jan. 2015 and Feb. 2017.

He's not currently in custody, but is due to make his first court appearance on Sept. 18.

Next Up


New Raptor Center data shows 'substantial drop' in bird flu patients

However, the virus remains a serious health threat for birds.

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 6.16.34 PM

Suspect kills himself after shooting woman and baby at Fargo restaurant

The suspect was found dead in a stolen vehicle in Minnesota.

CK Kyle Kasio

Charges: Guest stabbed three men as they slept in Albert Lea

Investigators believe the suspect is related to all three victims.

Kandiyohi County Courthouse

2 charged for fentanyl overdose death of 19-year-old

The-19-year-old died from a fentanyl overdose last month.

storm, severe weather

Severe thunderstorm watch: Hail, 65 mph gusts, tornadoes possible

The watch is just north of the Twin Cities metro area.

Lake Minnetonka

The staggering rise of Minnesota's most famous lakes this spring

Imagine dumping Lake Minnetonka into Lake Superior 47 times.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota Senate shoots down latest marijuana legalization attempt

The bill didn't receive the required votes for further consideration on Wednesday.


Minneapolis wants to use $1M in federal cash to plant 200,000 trees

The goal is to have these trees planted by the year 2040.

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 12.54.22 PM

MOA theater to debut wrap-around, 270-degree movie screen

The new technology will expand the movie screen onto the side walls of the theater auditorium.



Charges: Father and daughter stole from liquor store that employed them

The pair voided more than $2,000 of customer transactions and pocketed the difference.

Chris Etchison

Wisconsin man found dead in MN cabin, 2 men facing charges

The 36-year-old was reported missing April 19.

Tamara Gretz

Charges: Employee stole $470K to support her essential oils firm

The 49-year-old has a history of fraud and theft.

Charges: Airport electrician stole $125K of copper wire over 5 years

The 59-year-old would go to great lengths to disguise his intentions.

Charges: Blaine man shoots dead the wife who was divorcing him

The 46-year-old man called police saying he killed his wife.

Charges: Pastor stole booze from liquor store, keyed customer's car

The 38 year old is facing theft and damage to property charges.

Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 1.27.33 PM

Charges: Man held knife to Lyft driver's throat, stole and crashed his vehicle

The suspect was charged this week, about a month-and-a-half after the incident.

Charges: Serial rapist in Minneapolis targeted women online

The 24 year old was arrested after an alleged attack on March 18.