Dodge Center woman fails to appear at first financial exploitation hearing; arrest warrant issued

(ABC 6 News) – A Dodge Center woman failed to appear in Dodge County Court Wednesday, Nov. 1, on a charge of felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Michelle Renae Jefferson, 47, is accused of stealing money from a senior for whom she serves as power of attorney.

Dodge County Court issued a warrant for Jefferson’s arrest Thursday, Nov. 2.

According to court documents, Dodge County law enforcement received a report from the MN Adult Abuse Report Center, in which the senior alleged that he was missing money from a settlement, and that checks he had not written or signed had been cashed.

According to the report, the man stated that he received monthly spending money, but Jefferson was in control of his debit card and knew the PIN number for it.

He also described the bill allocations between him and Jefferson.

According to the report, the man’s banking account indicated that the debit card had been used at Truckin America, Kwik Trip, the Dodge Center Kwik Trip ATM, and Austin’s Walmart.

The man reported that he had not used his debit card at an ATM, did not know what purchases had been made at the stores, and denied giving Jefferson permission to make online transfers.

In March, an Adult Protection social worker met with Jefferson, who allegedly said the senior was reimbursed in case for any bills he paid.

Jefferson also told the social worker that the senior had agreed to help her “when she was in a financial bind,” but did not say how much the man had loaned her, when the loan had taken place, or “the duration of payback,” according to court documents.

In April, Dodge County law enforcement received more information from the social worker, who said the senior said he remembered that Jefferson had asked to take money from his account, but did not say what it would be used for.

He did not recall her asking for money “due to a financial bind,” according to court documents.

According to court documents, law enforcement identified roughly $40,200 in unaccounted transactions Jefferson had made from the senior’s bank account between 2014 and the beginning of 2023.