Woman accused of financially exploiting father

NEW ULM – A 43-year-old North Mankato woman is facing 10 felony counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult for allegedly using their account to withdraw $145,317.78 from the victim’s account between March 2013 and September 2015.

Marcy Jo Runing was charged with taking money from her father’s social security deposits, monthly, long-term care insurance payments and River Region Cooperative payments for his farm operation run by his son.

The funds were diverted after Runing became the man’s Power of Attorney on Sept. 29, 2011.

Blue Earth County Human Services requested a court hearing to remove Runing as Power of Attorney on Sept. 24, 2015, according to a Statement of Probable Cause.

Sleepy Eye Police were notified in June 2015, of a vulnerable adult maltreatment report began by Brown County Family Services (BCFS).

Due to a conflict within BCFS, Blue Earth County Family Services investigated the report of alleged financial exploitation of vulnerable adult living in Divine Providence Nursing Home in Sleepy Eye.

Some of the checks and payments made from the victim’s account appeared to be used directly by Runing and her husband Shawn Runing. Some of the checks were written directly to Marcy and Shawn Runing and signed by Marcy Runing.

It was estimated that the Runings took $152,086.31 from the victim’s accounts for their personal use between Oct. 7, 2011 and Sept. 21, 2015. There are some expenses that are unknown if used for the victim’s care and they are not tabulated in the amount, according to court documents.

A family in-law said the victim’s family is concerned about having enough money to keep family farm work going, and the family is having difficulty paying the outstanding bill at Divine Providence Home, which was listed at $35,555.51 as of July 29, 2015.

Sleepy Eye Police tried to contact Marcy Runing personally. She declined to provide a recorded interview about the case and did not have a defense attorney when the complaint was filed.

Sleepy Eye Police said charges are anticipated against Shawn Runing, who was named in the complaint as receiving some of the diverted funds.

Marcy Runing is scheduled to appear in Brown County District Court at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 12.

Blue Earth County Attorney Steven J. Kelm has been named a Special Assistant Brown County Attorney in the case due to a conflict of interest in Brown County.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).