A woman convicted of embezzling almost $90,000 from an Eagan telecommunications firm will spend six months in jail and be required to repay the stolen money in full.
Tuesday, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that 43-year-old Dawn Westphal, formerly of Rosemount, had been sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation. Judge Jerome Abrams also ordered Westphal to pay $88,391.75—the entire amount Westphal stole over a five year period from 2006 to 2011.
When apprehended by Eagan police in spring of 2012, Westphal said that she used her position as office manager at the Eagan telecommunications company to divert funds to her personal bank account. She said that she stole the money to pay down her mortgage.
Initially she faced nine felony counts of theft by swindle, each of which carried a maximum of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. On May 28, 2013, Westphal pleaded to five counts of theft by swindle. In exchange for the plea deal, the four remaining charges were dismissed.
“We are pleased to have brought this defendant to justice for these financial crimes. The defendant faces a 19 month prison sentence if she violates the conditions of her probation,” Backstrom said in a prepared statement.