Local attorney accused of stealing from farm account

By Signal Staff

A Fillmore County attorney was charged with felony theft last week by the Fillmore County Attorney’s Office.
Nancy L. Waldron, 59, of Exeter, who is also the current York County public defender, is charged with Theft by unlawful taking, over $5,000, a Class 2A felony.  The charges stem from a year-long Nebraska State Patrol and Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office investigation.  Waldron is free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.
The arrest warrant was issued last Tuesday and formal charges were made on Wednesday, August 1. Because of conflicts of interest, the Nebraska State Attorney General’s Office will be prosecuting the case.  Waldron is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, August 15, at 10 a.m., in the Fillmore County Court.
Court records indicate that Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Investigator True was contacted by Fillmore County Sheriff Bill Burgess in February of this year about a possible theft of money and that Waldron had possibly taken money from a client.  Prior to Burgess’ contact with the NSP Criminal Investigations Division, a Seward CPA company contacted Generations Bank in Exeter about suspicious activity concerning the Wasserbauer Farm’s bank account.  Wasserbauer Farms, which consists of 285 acres of Fillmore County farmland, located approximately five miles east of Fairmont, is owned by sisters, Erma Adamson and Helen Berst.  The sisters, now in their 90s, both live in nursing homes.  They inherited the ground from their brother in 1989.  Waldron was the farm manager for the brother and the sisters kept her on in this capacity.  Waldron was an authorized check signer and dealt with Adamson on farm business.
Court documents indicate that since 2012, the Seward CPA company determined that Waldron has written checks totaling $186,799 from the Wasserbauer Farm account.  When made aware of these numbers, Generations Bank officials contacted Adamson and asked questions to determine if these check totals could be accurate.  Investigator True also met with Adamson.
Waldron later contacted Generations Bank officials after the bank with Adamson’s permission closed and opened new bank accounts.  Waldron, who was the farm’s manager for 30 years, provided multi-pages of documents and billing invoices. For instance, a series of billing invoices from 2017 claimed Waldron had worked for 255 hours on Wasserbauer Farm issues, mainly dealing with fighting the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The invoices claimed $63,247 in work owed.  In September of 2011, Wasserbauer Farms received two checks from TransCanada totaling $33,859 for easement rights.
Other invoices contained Wasserbauer Farm work dates that were found to be impossible by Investigator True.  According to court records, Investigator True found that Waldron was working the same dates and times as public defender for York County. Court records indicate that Waldron later told Investigator True that she made have made errors in her records and some dates could be wrong.
Court documents also indicate that, on many instances, Waldron has indicated she has Power of Attorney for the sisters.  Though, as of when the arrest warrant was filed, she has not been able to produce this document.  Investigators and CPA and bank officials also indicate that checks written on the farm account do not coincide with any billing cycle.
The arrest affidavit states that from January 2017 to February 2018, Waldron wrote herself $63,932 in checks from the Wasserbauer Farm account.  Of these, only $7,019.42 can be attributed to the management of Wasserbauer Farms.

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