Former Byron golf course controller sentenced to prison
Gordon Craig Perkins, 64, pleaded guilty in April to four counts of theft by fraud. He was sentenced Friday afternoon in Olmsted County District Court by Judge Joseph Chase to 45 months in state prison. Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines say two-thirds of a prison sentence must be served in custody, while the remaining third can be served under supervision.
In passing sentence, Chase told Perkins that after his prison term, he would have another chance to become the man he wanted to be.
Perkins worked as a controller for the golf course from December 2011 until his termination in August 2019. As controller, Perkins “handled all the money, expenses and bills,” the complaint states.
In January 2020, Perkins was charged with seven counts of fraudulent theft, seven counts of theft-embezzlement of business assets and one count of failed check issuance. All 15 charges are crimes. Perkins pleaded guilty on September 23, 2020 to five counts, but withdrew his guilty plea after Chase said he would not hand down the recommended sentence.
Prosecutors filed an amended criminal complaint in March 2021 charging Perkins with four counts of fraudulent theft and one count of issuing a failed check. The failed check charge was rejected on Friday.
Perkins is accused of using thousands of dollars of golf course money for personal use for things like groceries, HVAC services, appliances, auto repair jobs, dental bills, bills doctors at the Mayo Clinic, accounting and legal fees, local nail salons, restaurants, time sharing, air travel, hotels, car rentals and monthly mobile phone services, according to the criminal complaint.
In court Friday afternoon, Perkins repeatedly said he was “very embarrassed” for what he had done.
“I wish I could go back in time, but I can’t,” said Perkins. “I know I’ve hurt a lot of people. I’m very embarrassed.”
Perkins’ attorney, Brandon V. Lawhead, has filed a motion for a departure from the alleged doomed prison. He argued that if incarcerated Perkins would not be able to make restitution payments and also mentioned the possibility of release from work.
“How do we make sure this man continues to work while having responsibilities,” Lawhead said.
Olmsted County Senior Assistant District Attorney James Haase asked the court to sentence Perkins to jail, citing a seven-year breach of trust as well as the “sheer volume” and “sheer daring” of the charges.
“At one point, saying I’m sorry just isn’t enough,” Haase said, adding that there was little chance Perkins could make any meaningful restitution payments.
Chase said at the start of the hearing on Friday that he would likely order restitution to comply with the civil settlement, but left the restitution order open to allow lawyers to clarify whether a payment to Somerby was included in the civil settlement. .
Lawhead told the court that a civil settlement had been reached between Perkins and Federal Insurance and Somerby Golf Course for $ 375,000. The plea agreement presented to the court in April provided for restitution in the amount of $ 473,186.37 to the Federal Insurance Company and $ 25,000 to the Somerby Golf Club.