Accountant embezzles $432,000, buys Minnesota lake house


A 39-year-old Faribault man has been charged with bank fraud, accused of stealing $432,000 from his company and using the money to buy a lake house.

Ronald Lea Schaeffer landed his job as the sole accountant for an agricultural manufacturing company called Environmental Tillage Systems in Faribault in 2008, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Schaeffer is accused of funneling money to his own personal bank account by writing checks to himself and then creating false entries in accounting records to make it look like the company was paying bills to vendors, prosecutors say.

They say he used the money to buy a lake house in Elysian, Minn., and to make payments on home equity or auto loans.

Schaeffer built a three-bedroom, 1.5-bath cabin for $99,000 near Swedes Bay in Elysian in 2011, the Faribault Daily News reports. The estimated total value for the property in 2012 is $159,800, the Daily News reports, citing Le Sueur County records.

Schaeffer's lawyer tells the newspaper Schaeffer intends to take responsibility. The newspaper reports the company CEO said the company could withstand the loss.

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