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Devils Lake woman pleads guilty to stealing over a quarter million dollars from employer

A Devils Lake woman pleaded guilty to stealing more than a quarter million dollars from her employer.

Sonya Dahlen, 65, was charged with theft of property, a Class A felony. She worked from January 2011 through April 2013 for a company that owned several motels. In that time, she transferred more than $250,000 from her employer's bank accounts into her personal accounts. 

Ramsey County States Attorney Lonnie Olson said Dahlen used most the money to fund her gambling addiction. A judge ordered Dahlen to five years in prison and an additional 10-year suspended sentence.

It's not uncommon for people to steal money to support gambling addiction, Olson said.

"We had a gal a couple years ago that was stealing from her grandmother and she was going through about a thousand dollars a day," he said.

In addition, Olson says it's been a growing trend in the region to see older people charged with stealing money to use for gambling.

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