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Forum staff reports, Published October 08 2012

Leonard man gets three years for thefts drawing $38,000 in restitution

FARGO – A Leonard man was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $38,000 in restitution after pleading guilty Monday in several theft-related cases.

Paul Baumler, 48, pleaded guilty in four Cass County District Court cases and two transferred from Stark and Richland counties.

The charges included felony counts of theft by deception, identity theft and property theft, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Assistant Cass County State’s Attorney Tanya Johnson Martinez said Baumler had a system of buying and selling vehicles, “and I think that at some point the operation just fell apart because his income wasn’t able to cover what his debts were.”

In one Cass County case, Baumler accepted a $20,600 payment from a woman for a Bobcat machine in which he had no ownership.

Baumler also admitted to violating his probation in two Barnes County cases, Martinez said.

Baumler cooperated with authorities, and much of the restitution has been covered by bail he had posted and money seized from him, Johnson Martinez said.