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Park Rapids woman charged with embezzling $37,000 from First Responders

A Park Rapids woman has been charged with embezzling more than $37,000 from Hubbard First Responders.

Valerie Ione Kimball, 44, faces two felony charges in connection with the missing funds, which were first discovered in February.

The criminal complaint states an audit of the funds revealed, from April 2007 to December 2009, numerous unauthorized checks, credit purchases and payments were allegedly made to Kimball or her personal accounts while she was the group's treasurer.

In all, the complaint states, 70 unauthorized purchases, 18 unauthorized checks and 25 payments have come under scrutiny. The total amount believed to be missing is $37,841.56.

The First Responders is a non-profit agency funded through state public health grants, so the missing funds are considered public monies.

Kimball faces one count of theft and one count of Embezzlement of Public Funds. Each is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in jail and/or a $20,000 fine upon conviction.