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The owner of a St. Croix County restaurant has been charged with bank fraud in Dunn County.

As of Monday, a court date has not been set for Amanda K. Hillstead, 31, of 1114 Park Dr., Glenwood City – owner of Wilson Nite Club, according to a criminal complaint.

Hillstead is charged with forging a loan document and submitting it to Bremer Bank in 2017 to pay an Xcel Energy bill for Wilson Nite Club.

A Bremer Bank loss prevention worker told the Menomonie Police Department that Hillstead owed $5,176.30 for an Xcel Energy bill for the restaurant, according to the complaint.

Hillstead asked the bank for assistance, then sent an email from Merchant Cash Group to the bank on March 20, 2017, according to the complaint. The email stated Hillstead was approved for an $8,000 loan and that the money would be deposited on March 16.

“At that point, due to the confirmation email, Bremer Bank immediately paid for her existing Xcel Energy bill for the Wilson Nite Club,” the complaint stated.

A Bremer Bank administrator “became suspicious” days later because the $8,000 was never deposited into Hillstead’s account, according to the complaint; a Merchant Cash Group underwriter said the company had not produced the email sent by Hillstead.

A Menomonie police officer requested the emails between Hillstead and Merchant Cash Group; Hillstead said she could not find the emails, believed they were deleted and denied forging the loan document, according to the complaint.

The officer showed Hillstead the emails between Bremer and Merchant Cash Group employees; “at that point, the defendant admitted to forging the loan document,” the complaint stated.

Hillstead said she had received a valid loan from Merchant Cash Group in the past, but forged the document so her business’ electricity would not be shut off, according to the complaint.

Hillstead said she planned to reimburse Bremer Bank, but needed the money immediately to pay the Xcel Energy bill, according to the complaint.

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Dunn County News editor

Sarah Seifert edits and reports for the Dunn County News. Contact her with tips or story ideas at 715-450-1557 or at editor@dunnconnect.com.

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