File photo

A Wabasso man, Darren Duane Roush, age 49, was found guilty of gross misdemeanor Financial Card Transaction Fraud this week. Roush will be sentenced Oct. 31 at the Redwood County Courthouse. 

According to the criminal complaint, testimony and evidence presented at trial, on March  10, 2020, the victim contacted the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office to report his fuel card had been  stolen and had been used fraudulently at the Meadowland Farmers Coop in Wabasso on March 8,  2020. A review of victim’s bank records indicate $20.62 was charged to the card on that date and location.

Investigators obtained security footage from the Coop for that day, and observed a dark-colored sedan enter the parking lot. The sedan parked at a gas pump and a woman exited the driver’s seat while a male exited the front passenger seat. Officers identified and spoke to the woman who stated she intended to pay for  the fuel, but Roush, who she identified as the passenger, said he would pay for the fuel.

The witness, an acquaintance of Roush, thought it was unusual for Roush to pay for the fuel because she claimed he never pays for anything. The witness watched Roush insert a card into the pump, pay  for the gas, and put the card back in his wallet. 

According to County Attorney  Jenna Peterson, the jury deliberated for approximately a half hour on Wednesday, Sept. 21, before  delivering the guilty verdict around 5:00 p.m.  

“For the Victim and our office this conviction is worth far more than $20.62, especially  in this case as this is not the first time Mr. Roush has been convicted of financial card transaction  fraud”, Peterson said of the conviction. “While $20.62 doesn’t seem like much, fraud cases can  have a much more profound effect on the lives of victims than the dollar amount indicates. If you  have lost a credit card, you know how much effort goes into the process to cancel it and get a  new one. When the card is stolen and used fraudulently, the process becomes even more cumbersome, time consuming, and stressful. Fraud is a personal crime and regardless of the  amount it can be devastating to the life of the victim.” 

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