August 8, 2008

Theft victims speak out

Theft victims speak out
How would it feel to trust an attorney to help you with your finances only to learn that they had helped themselves to your money? That scenario is all too real for a group of people who were clients of Doug Sletten, a long-time Garrison attorney. And, even though Sletten admitted to stealing more than $700,000 from his clients, some think a recommendation by the U.S. attorney’s office of a 41-month prison term is too short. Sally Mehlhoff, one of Sletten’s former clients, doesn’t feel the proposed sentence is long enough. “I wish my ‘sentence’ was that length,” she said. “I will pay for what he did for a lot more than three and a half years.” Just two years ago, Mehlhoff owned about 10 acres of land in the Underwood/Riverdale area. The property included a five-bedroom home and nine outbuildings. Today, due to Sletten’s actions, she said, “I’m sharing an old $4,000 trailer with a friend.” At the age of 53, she said she doesn’t feel she will ever recoup the financial loss she suffered after hiring Sletten to handle the sale of her property. Gone with the money is her hope of ever purchasing another home.


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