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Gambler sells $68,000 of 3M iPhones on eBay

For felony theft from her former employer, Dawn Barbara Hostrawser will spend more than a year in Washington County jail. She will be 62 years old when she completes probation, and at the prescribed rate of $200 a month she’ll finish paying restitution by the time she’s 75.

Hostrawser stole more than $68,000 of iPhones and iPads from 3M and was convicted of one felony count of diverting corporate property with intent to defraud. One felony charge of theft by swindle was dropped. Hostrawser, 47, of White Bear Lake pleaded guilty in March and was sentenced June 10. 

Hostrawser was ordered to pay $200 a month in restitution. At that rate, it would take 28 years, four months to pay off the bill.

She admitted to Woodbury police that she “should pay back what I owe them.”

Hostrawser also owes prison time — 33 months at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee — unless she complies with the conditions of her probation for 15 years. Her jail sentence is 158 days, or 13-some months.

According to the complaint:

Hostrawser bought 100 phones between Aug. 17, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013, and sold them on eBay for $200 to $400 apiece. An internal investigation at 3M showed that company funds were used to make the purchases and the sales were for Hostrawser’s personal profit.

On Jan. 2, 2014, AT&T notified 3M of a significant iPhone order made by Hostrawser, who had worked at the business’ office at 500 Bielenberg Drive in Woodbury. AT&T sent 3M a spreadsheet listing the phones she ordered during the final 4-1/2 months of 2013. 

On Jan. 3, 2014, after two supervisors asked the 3M employee for an inventory list of phones she said were purchased as backups for those in her office, Hostrawser admitted to selling the phones to solve her personal financial issues. Dozens were sent to her home, which she tried to explain.

She was fired.

Initially, the sale of stolen phones was meant to get her through a tough month. Her profits — “probably $75,000,” Hostrawser said — mainly supported a gambling habit. She knew she would get caught and she “just couldn’t stop,” she told Woodbury police. 

After the questioning from supervisors, Hostrawser admitted she purchased additional phones from Verizon Wireless. 

AT&T sold her 44 iPhones and five iPads. 

Verizon sold her 112 iPhones and six iPads. 

All of the phone numbers were canceled shortly after delivery. Ninety to 100 devices had been sold to two eBay buyers from California. She had sold seven iPhones and one iPad at Best Buy, as well.

Thirty-five of the devices were shipped to her home, and 11 were delivered to 3M after the termination of Hostrawser’s employment.

The total loss for 3M was $68,199.93.

 

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