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Former ELCA synod bookkeeper accused of embezzling $700K reaches plea deal; will get 4 years

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MOORHEAD, Minnesota — Prosecutors have reached a plea deal with a former bookkeeper accused of embezzling $700,000 from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America synod in northwestern Minnesota.

The agreement calls for Robert Larson of Wolverton to serve four years in prison and to pay back the stolen money.

Assistant Clay County Attorney Heidi Davies tells KFGO Radio (http://bit.ly/1mZMGbT) the four-year sentence is stiffer than that recommended under state sentencing guidelines.

Larson was a bookkeeper for the synod. Prosecutors say he stole the money by forging checks made out to himself and his wife.

Much of the money was used to remodel Larson's home. The house has been put up for sale to help pay for the restitution.

As part of the agreement, prosecutors will not file charges against Larson's wife.

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