Attorneys for both parties in a misapplication of entrusted property case gave arguments in Richland County District Court Monday, Nov. 18.
Kari Lee Heiser, 51, is now being charged as an accomplice in the class C felony case. The state of North Dakota filed amended criminal information on Friday, Nov. 15.
Heiser was kitchen manager of the Wahpeton Eagles Club when she organized a benefit for Jacob Petermann, according to her criminal complaint. It was held June 30, 2018 at the Wahpeton Eagles Club.
At the time of the benefit, Karen Mullin was manager of the Wahpeton Eagles Club. Mullin, 72, is Heiser’s mother. She has also been charged with one class C felony count of misapplication of entrusted property.
More than $1,000 but less than $10,000 in proceeds from the benefit were determined as misapplied, Daily News previously reported. A possible theft of money was investigated by the Wahpeton Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Office and North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
Richland County Assistant State’s Attorney Casey Moen represents the state of North Dakota. Public Defender Don Krassin represents Heiser. Judge Bradley Cruff presides.
Moen and Krassin questioned one witness during the approximately 50 minute hearing, Wahpeton Police Department Investigator Brittany Marohl.
Heiser was the benefit’s point person from the beginning, Moen stated. She was the one obligated to protect proceeds and had failed to do so, while assuring the delivery of thousands of dollars to the Petermann family.
Moen also presented the idea that the misapplied money was being used to pay for the Eagles Club’s operations. The club, demolished in July 2019, closed a few months earlier. At the time of the property’s sale in October 2018, the club was nearly $100,000 in debt, Daily News previously reported.
Heiser was not making deposits or writing checks on behalf of the Wahpeton Eagles Club, Krassin stated. The only activity she did on June 30, 2018 that can be shown is counting money collected during the benefit.
It is true that Heiser had the idea for the Petermann benefit, Krassin said. It is also true the Eagles Club was in financial trouble. However, Krassin said, there is no evidence that there was a scheme to keep the doors open, nor that Heiser was part of one.
It’s clear the Petermann family received what was due to them, Krassin said. Judge Cruff, however, said approximately $5,300 of $8,000 is unaccounted for. Because of this, he moved for a felony dispositional conference.
The maximum penalty for a class C felony is five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.
Mullin was scheduled to appear in court Monday morning for her own preliminary hearing and/or arraignment. It was cancelled and has not been re-scheduled as of that evening. Mullin is being represented by attorney Jonathan Green.
Heiser’s felony dispositional conference has not yet been scheduled.
Neither Heiser nor Mullin are currently confined in the Richland County Jail.