Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wisconsin Woman Accused Of Embezzling $500K

From WSAW:

An Athens woman is suspected of stealing more than $500,000 from a Wausau business where she worked for nearly 20 years.

Police say Michelle Walters, 39, embezzled the money from Northwestern Wisconsin Associates, Inc., a retirement plan company.

Walters has not yet been charged, but could face felony theft charges.

According to police reports, Walters confessed to stealing the money from NWA over the last six years to both her employer and police.

NWA president and owner, Matthew Stifler, found out about the scheme when the company's accountant noticed in the company ledger there had been a donation made to Arts Bash.

The accountant thanked Stifler for making the donation, since he had been involved in Arts Bash, but Stifler said he hadn't made a donation in years.

They got the original check from the company's bank, and found it was written to Michelle Walters, signed by Michelle Walters and endorsed by Michelle Walters.

That led Stifler to go through records to find dozens of unauthorized checks written by the suspect. For each unauthorized check Walters would list a different name as payee in the ledger, which was later entered into a computer.

Many checks were actually written to credit card companies, utilities, travel agents, and other businesses for Walters' personal gain.

Wausau Police Detective Jeff Strobach says Walters, who made $88,000 in 2011, admitted to the crime.

She also confessed to stealing the money and said she has a huge credit card problem. When asked what kinds of things she spent the money on, Walters said lots of little things like clothes, things for her kids and her husband.

Walters also said she'd put her home up for sale to pay back the company.


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