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Bemidji State employee gets jail time for stealing over $36K

BEMIDJI — Jeff Sande, the longtime Bemidji State University physical plant manager who in January pleaded guilty to spending tens of thousands of public dollars on himself, will head to jail next month.

Judge Paul Benshoof on Tuesday, March 19, imposed a 90-day sentence on Sande, 45 days of which he’ll serve in Beltrami County Jail and 45 days of which will be on electronic home monitoring. He’ll be eligible for supervised release after 30 days.

Sande will be on probation for up to 10 years after his sentence ends.

According to a criminal complaint, in 2016, university staff audited Sande’s purchasing history after they received a customer survey about a lawnmower purchased in June 2013 with his BSU Payment Card. The audit uncovered “dozens of transactions which did not match up with university equipment and inventory,” including a 42” John Deere tractor.

Sande, who made $92,000 annually at BSU, told university leaders he had used the school’s card for personal purchases and admitted to buying more than $36,000 worth of items.

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