A New Prague woman was accused of abusing the power of attorney to spend thousands of dollars on gambling and online purchases.
Jenna Marie Berg, 37, was charged in Le Sueur County District Court with felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim had been diagnosed with a disability and numerous serious illnesses and, based on these challenges, entrusted Berg with the power of attorney to assist with their finances. Police were alerted to the case when the victim applied for medical assistance from Le Sueur County DHS and was told of concerning transactions on their account.
Police reviewed the victim’s bank statements and reportedly discovered several cash withdrawals from Mystic Lake Casino amounting to $6,500, 18 transactions on Amazon amounting to around $2,000, $10,000 in ATM cash withdrawals at Round Bank and $5,000 in other suspicious purchases at businesses near Mystic Lake and withdrawals from various ATMs.
The victim allegedly told police they did not approve of those transactions and did not even know what Amazon was. A witness told police they had personally seen Berg withdraw money from the victim’s account to gamble at Mystic Lake, where she allegedly spent around $900. They stated Berg had a gambling problem and would gamble online and purchase lottery tickets when not at Mystic Lake.
According to the complaint, Berg told police the withdrawals were to get the victim’s assets below $3,000 to qualify for medical assistance. When asked why she didn’t make one withdrawal instead of multiple at various entities, Berg was quoted responding “I just didn’t. I don’t know; I don’t know; that’s a good question. I don’t have an answer for that.”