UPDATE: Beltrami County employee facing theft and fraud charges dies

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 10:40 PM CST
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BEMIDJI, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Wednesday a state audit revealed a longtime IT employee for Beltrami County, Ronald Pula, was facing charges of felony theft and fraud.

As of Thursday evening, media outlets are reporting that he’s dead.

A state audit revealed Pula spent nearly $150,000 in unauthorized purchases with county funds. Nearly 300 items purchased were found during a search at two properties owned by Pula.

He was facing 14 felony counts, the majority of which carry a 5-year prison sentence. One charge carried a ten-year sentence and a $20,000 fine. Those charges have been dismissed due to his death.

The circumstances surround Pula’s death are not being disclosed at this time.