Business owner sentenced for stealing from clients
Four years after the state shut down his collection agency and nearly two years after he was formally charged with stealing money from his clients, Rosemount resident Scott Schoaf has pleaded guilty to charges of theft and theft by swindle.
According to the Dakota County Attorney’s office, Schoaf, 50, failed to pay out more than $72,000 he collected through his business, Alternative Receivables Solutions Incorporated, between June of 2009 and March of 2010. He used the money for a variety of personal expenses including lawn care and vehicle payments.
Speaking to the Rosemount Town Pages in 2010 Schoaf admitted taking the money and said he was the victim of a bad economy. He said he had taken “significant losses” in the previous two years thanks to the economy and an overstaffed office.
“I’m not hiding anything,” he said at the time. “I’m not taking exorbitant trips. I wasn’t buying any brand new cars. It was just a stupid decision on my part.”
Under normal circumstances, Schoaf would collect money owed to his clients and put it into a trust. At the end of the month, he would make payments from that trust, keeping a commission for himself. But police found boxes of unsent checks when they searched Schoaf’s desk. A police investigation showed Schoaf had transferred trust money to an account used to pay rent, postage, payroll, taxes, multiple credit cards and loans.
There were at least 128 clients who were owed money.Judge Shawn Moynihan sentenced Schoaf to 30 days of sentence to serve, probation for up to 20 years and restitution that has not yet been determined. He will serve an additional 25 days of sentenced to serve each year until that restitution is fully paid. He is also prohibited from volunteering or being employed in any position that requires handling of money.