Last Friday John Bonner, a partner at downtown Minneapolis law firm Bonner & Borhart, was convicted of stealing nearly $15,000 from two other lawyers who used to work for him.
At 69, Bonner is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison for a scheme where he deducted money from employees' paychecks under the pretense of enriching their retirement accounts, when in reality he was using it to pay the law firm's bills.
The criminal charges stemmed from a civil suit Kim Chapman, one of the lawyers Bonner stole from, filed in 2012. Chapman worked for Bonner from 2008 until March 2012, when she noticed she wasn't being paid for all of the hours she billed, according to the civil suit.
While that suit dragged on, Chapman decided to get the US Department of Labor involved. The Department of Labor investigated the case and then handed it off to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, which was successful in convincing a jury Bonner was guilty of felony theft by swindle after a week-long trial.
Bonner actually got off pretty easy. The case only investigated claims from two employees and thievery that took place within the three-year statute of limitations, bringing the total amount Bonner was charged with stealing down to $6,068 from $14,379.
He'll be sentenced February 20.
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