Eagan businessman accused of trying to steal county money

Alejandro Luebbert’s legal trouble extends to numerous lawsuits for unpaid bills, loans

Dakota County businessman Alejandro Luebbert faces felony charges for allegedly attempting to steal more than $2,600 from a Dakota County agency. Luebbert owns Super Mercado Olmeca in Burnsville and Zest Bar and Grille in Eagan. He previously owned VIP Olmeca Events. (File photo)

Dakota County businessman Alejandro Luebbert faces felony charges for allegedly attempting to steal more than $2,600 from a Dakota County agency. Luebbert owns Super Mercado Olmeca in Burnsville and Zest Bar and Grille in Eagan. He previously owned VIP Olmeca Events. (File photo)

A Dakota County businessman faces felony charges for allegedly receiving county money for work on his Eagan business that was never done.

Alejandro Luebbert, who owns businesses in Burnsville and Eagan, was charged by the Dakota County Attorney on March 4 with attempted theft by false representation, a felony.

According to the criminal complaint, the Prior Lake resident received relocation funding from Dakota County in July 2011 after Luebbert was forced to move his business from Burnsville to Eagan.

In December 2011, he asked the county to reimburse $2,651.34 for a camera surveillance system installed by a contractor. But county officials say their investigation revealed the surveillance system had never been installed.

Luebbert allegedly sent the county an estimate for the work but claimed it was a bill.

During a police interview in September 2012, Luebbert, 46, allegedly admitted he never had the contractor install the surveillance system. He said he submitted the claim hoping to get the money and find a company to install the system for a lower price, according to the complaint. Luebbert allegedly admitted he ultimately, installed the system himself for $600 and didn’t submit a revised claim.

He told police he was frustrated that the county had denied so many of his previous claims and said that he was in a lot of debt due to the relocation.

Luebbert, who owns Zest Bar and Grille in Eagan and Super Mercado Olmeca in Burnsville, has been sued eight times over the past three years by several debtors.

He is currently fighting two separate lawsuits — one filed by a lender and the other by a landlord.

DeSoto Associates Limited Partnership, a Little Canada commercial real estate company, filed a lawsuit on Feb. 1 alleging Luebbert owes the company $8,375.04 for rent, insurance and an electric bill, among other debts. In the suit, DeSoto claims Luebbert and his company, Super Mercado Olmeca, failed to pay $5,202.68 in rent, $179.57 in insurance, and $225.67 in electric bills between November 2012 and January 2013.

Luebbert moved the grocery store and deli to  DeSoto’s property at 14117 Irving Ave. S. in Burnsville after being forced in 2010 to vacate Valley Ridge Shopping Center in Burnsville to make way for a housing project.

The owner of the center sold the property to the Dakota County Community Development Agency, which turned the property into a senior housing complex.

Luebbert came under fire in November 2010 by Burnsville city officials for problems at his night club, VIP Olmeca Events, which was next door to the grocery store. Residents complained at the time about music volumes and people loitering in the parking lot after closing.

One month after DeSoto sued Luebbert, Great Southern Bank, a Missouri based lender, filed a lawsuit claiming Luebbert owed $123,638.35 for defaulting on a business loan.

If convicted of the alleged March 4 theft charge, Luebbert could face up to five years in prison.

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