Lyon Co. man indicted for fraud charges

A federal grand jury indicted a Cottonwood man last week for charges of wire fraud, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud, Minnesota District Court records said.

James Anthony Kroger, 44, a Cottonwood resident and an assistant professor at Gustavus Adolphus College, is accused of embezzling over $600,000 from a real estate company he managed.

Court documents filed Wednesday said Kroger has pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, the court also ordered that Kroger be detained and evaluated by a mental health professional.

An indictment filed April 2 alleged that in 2019, Kroger and an unnamed business partner formed a joint real estate venture to invest in Texas real estate that was being sold at public auction due to unpaid taxes. Between February 2019 and May 2021, Kroger allegedly embezzled more than $690,000 from the company, and carried out a scheme to launder the money, the indictment said.

According to the indictment, Kroger spent the embezzled funds on “extravagant personal purchases,” including large cash withdrawals and purchases of gold and silver bullion.

According to the indictment, Kroger also used the bullion purchases, and purchases of vehicles, to launder “significant portions” of the money he took from the company. Kroger later tried to conceal his scheme by fraudulently filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the indictment said.

Kroger is being charged with nine counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, and one count of bankruptcy fraud.

Court documents said a detention hearing was held for Kroger on Wednesday. The court ordered that Kroger be detained, and that he be evaluated by a mental health professional.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday that prosecutors in the case raised concerns about writings by Kroger, where he called for U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger to be executed.

In a two-part series of writings, Kroger also accused the FBI of trying to kill him with fighter jets and infect him with rabid bats, the Star Tribune reported.


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