Minnetonka Son, Mother Charged for Fraud in MOA Promotion

Updated: 12/19/2013 5:56 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

Photo: Image: MGN Online

A 33-year-old Minnetonka man and his mother were charged in connection with fraud at the Mall of America.

Jonathan Vonholtz and 64-year-old Karen Vonholtz were both charged with felony theft by swindle.

According to the criminal complaint, the Mall of America contacted Bloomington Police in November regarding possible fraud over a Nickelodeon Universe promotion. During the holiday season the mall promotes sales by giving two unlimited ride wristbands for the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park for every $250 purchased at the mall. The wristbands are valued at $29.99.

Managers at Mall of America became concerned when a man, later identified as Jonathan Vonholtz, presented a receipt from Kay Jewelers in the amount of $83,000. He was given 664 wristbands which were valued at $13,795.41.

A woman, who was later identified as Karen Vonholtz, showed a receipt from Kay Jewelers for $108,000 and received 864 wristbands valued at $25,911.36.

According to the complaints, the pair tried to redeem another receipt from a different jewelry store, but employees could tell the receipt was fraudulent.

Officials at the Mall of America discovered the wristbands were being sold on Craigslist and eBay.

Bloomington police contacted the person who posted the ad through Craigslist to purchase some wristbands. Jonathan Vonholtz arrived in a vehicle licensed to his mother. He was carrying a bag with a large amount of wristbands, according to the complaint.

Jonathan Vonholtz was taken into custody. In Miranda statements both Jonathan Vonholtz and Karen Vonholtz admitted to presenting forged receipts in order to receive the wristbands.

According to the complaint, 812 of the wristbands have not been recovered.