STEVENS POINT - A former business owner accused of stealing more than $705,000 from farmers and trucking companies in central Wisconsin was charged Monday in Portage County.

Thomas Lundgren, 54, of Columbus, was charged after a Portage County detective began investigating his business, Spud City Sales, in October 2012, according to a criminal complaint filed last month.

Lundgren acted as a go-between for potato farmers looking to sell crops to various buyers, but would refuse to pay the farmers what they were owed once the sales were made, the complaint said. The victims included farmers and trucking companies in Adams, Columbia, Portage and Waushara counties.

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A former employee of Lundgren’s business told a detective Lundgren repeatedly promised to pay the farmers and trucking companies, but “would not return their calls or pay them even after telling them that the check was in the mail,” the complaint said.

Detectives searched Lundgren’s home in Stevens Point on Nov. 14, 2012, and confiscated computers and boxes of financial documents, the complaint said.

Lundgren appeared Monday in Portage County Circuit Court and was charged with 10 counts of theft in a business setting, according to court records. He was released on a $25,000 signature bond and ordered to surrender his passport. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 9.

Lundgren faced similar charges in Portage County in 2013, but the case was dismissed.

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