Charges filed against former Cloquet police officer

On Friday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced charges against former Cloquet Police Officer, Laci Marie Silgjord. According to the Attorney General’s office, Silgjord was charged with financially exploiting a vulnerable adult, one count of gross misdemeanor financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, and felony attempted theft by swindle. Silgjord was charged in Carlton County District Court.

According to a press release, pursuant to Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. § 8.01), the Carlton County Attorney’s Office referred this case to the Attorney General’s Office.

The criminal complaint says Silgjord met the victim through her employment as a then-Cloquet police officer, when she had performed a welfare check on the woman in May, 2020. Four months later, authorities say Silgjord went to a bank as the victim’s fiduciary and gained access to the victim’s bank accounts. The complaint says Silgjord had no legal authority to do so.

The woman died on October 28, 2020. Authorities say Silgjord attempted to inherit the victim’s entire estate, despite the victim having surviving family. Silgjord did not have a written estate plan from the victim.

Cloquet Police Department policy says that in order to “avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest members of this department shall refrain from developing or maintaining personal or financial relationships with victims, witnesses or other individuals during the course of, or as a direct result of, any official contact.”

The Cloquet Police Department says it is aware of the charges brought against Silgjord, and it is standard procedure to refer the investigation to an outside agency to eliminate any perceived conflicts of interest. The police department says they have no other information or comment regarding the criminal complaint.

Silgjord’s employment as a Cloquet police officer ended in June 2022.

This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) in the Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.