West Fargo man charged with theft by swindle

Published 9:10am Friday, March 29, 2013 Updated 11:14am Friday, March 29, 2013

A West Fargo man has been charged with two felonies after he allegedly swindled a total of more than $35,000 from three people in Otter Tail County.

Duane Allen Mischel, 52, was charged Feb. 14 in Otter Tail County District Court with theft-false representation and theft by swindle. His first court appearence was Monday.

According to the criminal complaint, a man responded to Mischel’s advertisement for the sale of property in Edna Township, and between Feb. 13, 2010 and April 30, 2010, the man paid three cash payments of $10,000 each to Mischel as a down payment. Mischel later reportedly told authorities the $30,000 went toward related costs for platting and surveying of the property. However, the man reportedly did not hear from Mischel after October 2011.

A woman put down a “small amount of money” with Mischel for a property in September 2011, the report says. Another woman reportedly gave Mischel $5,000 toward a cabin purchase in October 2011. She asked for the money back and it was not returned, the report says.

Mischel was not the owner of these properties, but he had a contract for deed, the report says, so he did not have the authority to sell them.

Mischel’s next court appearence is scheduled for Monday, May 6.


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