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Tribal police officer charged with felony theft

A Fond du Lac tribal police officer faces a felony charge after allegedly falsifying documents to fraudulently receive energy assistance benefits over the course of several years.

A Fond du Lac tribal police officer faces a felony charge after allegedly falsifying documents to fraudulently receive energy assistance benefits over the course of several years.

Sheri Ann Dupuis-Holshouser, 38, was charged this week in State District Court with theft by false representation.

Authorities said she falsely received $1,190 from the Minnesota Department of Commerce's Energy Assistance Program, which is designed to assist qualified low-income households.

A criminal complaint alleges that Dupuis-Holshouser omitted her husband - a fellow Fond du Lac officer - from applications she filled out in three consecutive years, allowing her to receive benefits that she otherwise would not have been entitled to.

An investigation was launched in March when a fellow officer reported that he found a false application filled out by the defendant at police headquarters.

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The application listed only herself and three children as residents at her Cloquet home. That application was later rejected by the state because the listed household income exceeded the maximum threshold, according to the complaint.

However, investigators said a review of previous years' applications found similar omissions, resulting in payments of $446 and $744 to Dupuis-Holshouser. Numerous public documents reviewed by investigators verified that her husband was also a resident - and the owner - of her home, according to the charges.

The investigation was handled by the Pine County Sheriff's Office, which was called in to avoid a conflict of interest with local law enforcement. Pine County Attorney Reese Frederickson is serving as a special prosecutor.

Dupuis-Holshouser remains free and is set to make an initial appearance at the Carlton County Courthouse on June 8. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The defendant's LinkedIn page indicates that she has been employed by the Fond du Lac Police Department since 2003 and that she is a graduate of Bemidji State University. She was the recipient of her department's 2015 leadership award.

Messages left for Dupuis-Holshouser and Police Chief Sam Ojibway were not immediately returned.

Related Topics: CRIMECARLTON COUNTY
Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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