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Former MSP Airport electrician pleads guilty to stealing, selling copper wire

Kipp Baldwin pleaded guilty to theft-by-swindle and filing fraudulent tax returns.

A former airport electrician from Bloomington has pleaded guilty to multiple charges after illegally stealing and selling copper wire, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

During a Friday hearing, Kipp Baldwin, who was formerly employed by the Metropolitan Airport Commission, pleaded guilty to theft-by-swindle and filing fraudulent tax returns.

Baldwin stole copper wire from a contractor working with the Metropolitan Airport Commission – which operates MSP Airport – and sold it for a total of more than $125,000 between 2015 and 2019.

He also failed to report the income he received from selling the wire on his tax returns from tax years 2014 to 2019.

Baldwin’s sentencing is scheduled for March 8. As part of his plea deal, Baldwin will receive five years of probation for each charge, to be served concurrently.

For the theft-by-swindle charge, Baldwin faces up to 270 days of home monitoring. He must also pay restitution to the Metropolitan Airport Commission and its contractor.

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For the fraudulent tax returns charge, Baldwin faces either 20 days of sentence-to-serve or community service or a $7,000 fine. Baldwin must also pay restitution to the Department of Revenue, and an investigation is currently being conducted to determine that amount.

In a statement, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said his office takes white collar crime like Baldwin’s case seriously.

“Our office takes white-collar crimes just as serious as any other crime we prosecute. The duplicitous nature of these defendant’s actions can cause serious harm to those they work for and with,” Freeman said. “Over the past year, our office has received convictions on multiple white-collar crimes cases against people who thought they were above the law, and clever enough to get away with their illicit antics.” 

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