Woman pleads guilty to embezzling $213k from Albert Lea public housing agency

An Albert Lea woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling more than $200,000 in public housing rent payments while working as a bookkeeper for the city. 

Marcie Marie Thumann, 44, pled guilty to one count of theft from a program receiving federal grants after she stole at least $213,217 in tenant payments from a low-income housing program, according to the Department of Justice. 

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said Thumann worked as a bookkeeper between January 2010 and July 18, 2018, for the Albert Lea Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), a government program that helps solve the shortage of available low-income housing units.

During this time, Thumann would pocket cash received by tenants for her "own personal use." The HRA’s computer system would automatically generate a balance due for each tenant at the beginning of each month. Thumann would take the cash payments and alter the tenant’s payment method from cash to check or money order in the system.

The DOJ said she also manipulated the computer system to "conceal the money she stole, avoid detection, and prolong her fraud schemes," the press release reads. 

Thumann pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court and will be sentenced at a later date.