Andrew J. Conklin

Serving eight months in jail

In Chippewa County Circuit Court a Ladysmith man was sentenced to eight months in the Chippewa County Jail for his involvement in intentionally deceiving a Chippewa Falls woman out of more than $150,000.

On Jan. 10 Andrew J. Conklin, 25, pleaded no contest to one felony count of theft with false representation > $10,000 as a party to a crime on Jan. 10. Conklin was sentenced to eight months in the Chippewa County Jail with Huber privileges and five years probation and will begin on March 10.

He was ordered to pay $153,339.64 in restitution and a restitution surcharge in the amount of $15,333.96, totaling $168,673.60. Conklin is to make reasonable payments while on probation and the remaining balance is expected to be reduced to a civil judgment upon revocation or discharge of his probation, according to the Wisconsin court website.

Conklin is also required to write a one-page letter of apology to his victim, complete an assessment and enter into counseling as required, have no contact with his victim, no contact with his accomplice Brandi R. Schofield, 21.

In connection to this case, on July 16, 2018 Schofield pleaded guilty to one felony charge of theft with false representation over $10,000 as a party to a crime and three charges of theft with false representation under $2,500 and was sentenced to 90 days in Chippewa County Jail with Huber work privileges and 24 months of probation.

Schofield received a deferred agreement with a withheld sentence for her felony count and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $114,824.61 plus a restitution surcharge of $11,482.46. Schofield was ordered to pay $100 per month, if financially able.

According to the criminal complaint, Conklin and Schofield deceived and took advantage of a Chippewa Falls woman with the supposed intent of never repaying debts created in the woman’s name between the July 2017 and November 2017.

Schofield’s involvement in these incidents included accompanying Conklin and the victim to four cell phone stores to talk the victim into purchasing 12 cell phones and a tablet, talking the victim into opening chain store credit cards and a Bank of America credit card in the victim’s name. The criminal complaint alleges the credit cards were handed to Conklin and he agreed to pay off the cell phones bills and make payments on the credit cards.

Conklin convinced the victim to open up two loans, totaling $1,500 with Conklin agreeing to use the money to pay the accrued bills. Further, the victim was talked into traveling to the Mall of America where she purchased a watch and jewelry totally $1,963.94.

In July 2017, Conklin and Schofield had the victim purchase five vehicles from five different car dealerships with the agreement he would sell them and give her the money. The criminal complaint claims the total value of all vehicles purchased was $119,660.92. Conklin leased the purchased vehicles to individuals answering an ad on Craigslist.

On Dec. 1, 2017 an investigator from the Chippewa County police department met with the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office and five days later issued a search warrant that turned up numerous documents belonging to the victim including several lease agreements, vehicle keys and receipts.

Conklin claims to have given the victim money for the cell phones, denied using the credit cards and claimed some of the jewelry was either stolen by Schofield or in Schofield’s grandmother’s truck, according to the criminal complaint. Later admitting he did lease the vehicles to other people.