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Probation for Lund in Cub Scout Embezzlement Case

Probation for Lund in Cub Scout Embezzlement Case
Debra Lund at January 16 arraignment. Photo by Teresa Moon.

Debra Jeane Lund appeared for sentencing in the Tenth Judicial District Court on Tuesday, April 9, before visiting Judge Robert E. Estes. Lund has been facing charges of Embezzlement of a Value of More than $5,000 but less than $15,000, a Category C Felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Never formally arrested, Lund was booked on a warrant after Churchill County District Attorney’s Office filed charges in Justice Court in January 2023. The criminal complaint at that time alleged Lund converted $50,199.49 in Cub Scout funds for her use, a Category B Felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. After multiple continuances, the case was finally heard in January when Lund pleaded guilty.

Deputy District Attorney Priscilla Baker asked the court to hold Lund responsible for her actions. “The State understands that this defendant has no criminal history; this was a crime of opportunity,” said Baker, “She became a trusted member of the Cub Scouts, became treasurer, and had full access to all the funds without much oversight.” Baker went on to explain that Lund's actions were done to support her gambling habit, and this went on for over five years.

It began with Lund writing checks to herself, then withdrawals at ATMs, and eventually cash machines at the casinos, according to Baker, who explained that Lund kept two sets of books. She told board members there was no money, and they had to cut corners for events for the kids – kids who spent their weekends selling popcorn to make money so they could do those events. “Now that she is not the treasurer, there is suddenly money for all the events they want to do,” stated Baker. “She was supposed to be a trusted member of the Cub Scouts, to be an example. But this example victimized these kids.”   

Baker reported Lund embezzled over $50,000. They believe she paid back $36,000, leaving $15,014.07 as the agreed-upon amount noted in the Amended Criminal Complaint and Plea Memorandum. She asked that Lund be held accountable. “Taking somebody’s money to go gambling is not acceptable,” concluded Baker. 

Churchill County citizens provided victim impact statements, speaking of how hard the scouts would work fundraisers, only to be told there was no money for planned events and arts and crafts, which were staples for the young boys. A member of the Rotary Club explained how Lund's actions affected not only the scouts but also the whole community. “It impacts how we help this community and try to organize as many fundraisers and youth programs as we can, and we think we have a pretty big black eye right now.”   

A local Cub Master told the court, “Your Honor, a scout is trustworthy. That's the first point of the Scout Law; the first point that Deb bie taught our kids every single week,” who explained it was discovered by accident that there was a second set of records. “It is important to note there is no way we can recreate the trust that our kids, our families, and our community has lost…There is no way we can replace the hundreds of thousands of hours our kids spent trying to raise money.”

Paul Wolfe, Esq, defense counsel for Lund, told the court that her gambling addiction drove her actions. “She didn’t spend all that money because she was selfish, because she wanted a life of luxury,” Wolfe stated. “Having her liberty taken from her…having a felony conviction, loss of home, loss of family, loss of friends, the shame, the embarrassment, the publicity garnered by the media here; everybody in this community knows exactly what she did. She has to live with that shame, that indignity, for the remainder of her life.”   

Wolfe, who asked the court to grant his client probation, said Lund alleges that she has paid back all the $50,000; however, she wanted to accept full responsibility so she will pay the $15,000 the state says she still owes. “Nobody is more ashamed, more embarrassed than she is."  

During Lund’s address to the court, she publicly apologized to the scouts, saying she cared for each of them and would not hurt them. “But my words obviously mean nothing, Your Honor. I've ruined it,” said Lund, who also apologized to her family for the grief she had caused and for being the disappointment she felt she had become. “Sorry, I don't know what else to say,” said Lund, “Just I'm sorry.”   

“There is nothing this court could say that has not already been said that has not been said by members of the community that testified here today,” stated Judge Estes, who said he believed Lund was sorry, “I am actually cognizant of the shame that you have already put yourself through. I can only hope that some members of the community can, at some point, forgive you for this.”  

Lund received two years of probation on a suspended sentence of 12-28 months in prison and was ordered to pay $15,014.07 in restitution. 

 

 

 


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S. Donaldson 04/28/2024 09:48 AM
They should have thrown the book at Lund. She's not sorry and she'll do it again if given the chance. Has she proven she paid back the money. ?????? I don't think so.

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