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Eckberg charged in Stillwater's Lumberjack Days swindle

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced that after months of exhaustive investigation by the Washington County Sheriff's Office, his office has filed criminal charges against David W. Eckberg, 61, of Stillwater, in the 2011 controversy over the Lumberjack Days Festival in Stillwater.

Eckberg, the organizer of the event, was charged with five counts of Theft by Check and five counts of Issuance of a Dishonored Check.

The complaint filed in the case alleges that Eckberg failed to make good on checks he wrote for the purchase of beer at the festival, for services rendered by a staging and lighting company and for labor provided by Stillwater Blue Line Boosters. The complaint states that when the checks were written there were insufficient funds in the accounts to cover the checks. Eckberg requested the recipients to hold the checks pending

sufficient funds being place into the accounts.

In the meantime, records showed, Eckberg deposited and then transferred in excess of $40,000 from the Lumberjack Festival and St. Croix Events accounts into his and his wife's personal accounts. This sum was sufficient to cover the outstanding debt, but Eckberg continued to tell the victims there were insufficient funds in the account and to hold the checks.

"This has been a careful, painstaking investigation that has required the

issuance of multiple search warrants and the review of boxes and boxes of documents," Orput said. "Frankly, the victims deserve more than the criminal justice system can provide them. However, my office will do all in its power to bring some amount of justice to the victims of Mr. Eckberg's duplicity in his business dealings."