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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A former employee of the Somerby Golf Club has pleaded guilty to four counts of theft by swindle for stealing almost a half-million dollars from the Byron business.

64-year-old Gordon Perkins admitted to four counts of the felony crime, while Olmsted County prosecutors agreed to dismiss a fifth felony charge of issuing a dishonored check. It was the second time Perkins has entered into a plea agreement in the case. The Austin man previously admitted to 5 counts of theft by swindle, but the judge involved refused to approve it after expressing concerns that the recommended sentence was inadequate considering the scope of the theft.

Under the terms of the new plea deal, the prosecution has withdrawn a motion for an upward departure in sentencing and is recommending a "middle of the box" sentence that includes 45 months in prison and close to $500,000 in restitution. The agreement allows Perkins to argue for leniency when he is sentenced on May 28th.

The Austin man was charged last year after an investigation conducted by the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office documented thefts from Somerby accounts that began in 2012 and ran through last year totaling about $500,000. The investigation was launched last year after the general manager of the private golf club in Byron noticed a significant amount of unauthorized charges on Somerby's credit card accounts and confronted Perkins, who was hired as the controller of the golf club's finances near the end of the year in 2011.

The criminal complaint against Perkins says, after he was fired by the general manager, he apologized and provided Somerby with a check written out for $75,000, which bounced. The court records alleged the money stolen by Perkins was used for home repairs, living expenses, medical bills, and vacations.

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