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Judge rejects plea deal in ND swindling case


DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) -- A Dickinson woman accused of swindling a Billings County man out of more than half a million dollars is headed to trial after a judge rejected a plea agreement.

Cynthia Ell was set to plead guilty to one of 10 counts of felony theft by deception, and be sentenced to between 2 and 5 years in prison.  Judge Cynthia Feland rejected the deal Thursday and scheduled a trial March 3-7.

Authorities allege that Ell placed misleading ads in two newspapers last year after opening a medical benefit account at a bank, and ended up swindling a Fairfield man out of about $595,000.