Apartment property manager charged with theft, forgery

Alleged thefts of rent money at a Burnsville apartment complex last year are being blamed on the person who managed the property.

Kathryn Ann Blankenship, 37, of Brooklyn Park, was charged Oct. 2 with felony counts of aggregating theft and check forgery. Her roommate is also charged in the alleged scheme.

Burnsville police received a report last December of employee theft at Shalimar Estates Apartments, 13332 Parkwood Drive. An audit by owner Gaughan Cos. showed rent deposits totaling $6,548 missing for October and November, according to the criminal complaint.

Interviewed by a company official, Blankenship said she had deposited all the money in the company bank account and denied taking any of it, the complaint said.

The official interviewed several tenants from whom rent was missing. They said they gave Blankenship money orders, and she advised them to leave “pay to the order of” blank, the complaint said.

Copies of four of the money orders were obtained. Three were made payable to Blankenship and one to her roommate, the complaint said. They were cashed at Walmart stores.

The company official also said rent cash payments made by two tenants on Dec. 2, totaling $2,440, were missing, the complaint said.

Police interviewed tenants and obtained search warrants. According to the complaint, their investigation showed that between last Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, Blankenship cashed three money orders totaling $672 at a Bloomington Walmart, two money orders totaling $600 at the Burnsville Walmart, and a $350 money order at an unknown location.

Also during that period, the roommate, Rachael Elizabeth Ekholm, cashed a $302 money order at the Burnsville Walmart and an $800 money order at an unknown location, the complaint said.

Ekholm, 34, of Minneapolis, is also charged with felony aggregating theft and check forgery.