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Le Sueur man accused of pilfering trust account funds intended for mother’s care

(Le Center, MN) – A Le Sueur man is accused of stealing funds from his deceased father’s trust that were intended to be used for the care of his mother.

Larry Allen Baringer, 53, was charged Wednesday with felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult in Le Sueur County Court.

According to the criminal complaint, Baringer became executor for his father’s trust after he died.  The monies were directed to be used for the care of Baringer’s elderly mother, who is 78-year-old and was diagnosed with dementia.  Baringer’s alleged use of the trust funds was reported to investigators in January by the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center, according to the complaint.

The report said that Home Healthcare Services, which was employed for the care of Baringer’s mother had not been paid for five months, and a bill for her Life Alert was about to be turned over for collections.

According to the complaint, investigators reviewed  bank records from the Baringer Family Trust and found:

  • 9 checks written to Larry Baringer totaling $11,000 – the checks had been either deposited into Larry’s personal account or endorsed by him with no record of accounting.
  • 25 checks made payable to Baringer’s wife, Jennifer totaling $3,666 with no accounting
  • 19 checks to Wal-Mart for $1,857.01
  • 8 checks to Menard’s for $2,873.46
  • 8 checks to Holiday Fuel for $455.22
  • Multiple checks to Kwik Trip, Home Depot, Shopko, Tractor Supply, and Fleet Farm
  • Check  for $486.86 to Tires Plus, with an accounts payable report indicating it was for tires for Baringer’s daughter

Baringer admitted he has used money from the trust when he is short or needs money for his personal business, according to the criminal complaint.  He told investigators that he puts the money back into the account when he is paid, but had no documentation to back up his claim, according to court documents.  He told police he and his wife are reimbursed from the trust account for things they do for his mother, but there was no supporting proof, according to the complaint.

Baringer has been the trust executor for 17 years, but the criminal complaint says that bank records were only available as far back as 2 years and 2 months.  He is due in court on May 14th.

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