Many reports of white collar crime come from large cities. However, one can face accusations of fraud, embezzlement and identity theft anywhere.

Charges for financial crimes are especially common within the financial industry. Yet, the consequences of a conviction can be severe, regardless of job title.

Recent Wisconsin white collar case reported in the Health and Human Services Department

A Ladysmith woman recently pleaded guilty to committing criminal asset forfeiture, aggravated identity theft and wire fraud before her retirement. The woman allegedly stole more than $702,000 while working for the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) in Rusk County.

The former employee purportedly created unfounded bills from a home-based therapy company for services provided to two children with autism. Though, no such services were provided.

In court, the woman facing allegations admitted she stole names and taxpayer identification from the company to:

  • Forge signatures
  • Create a fictitious bank account
  • Form a fake email address
  • Falsify invoices
  • Redirect direct deposits

The hundreds of thousands of dollars supposedly received from the county contributed to the woman’s personal credit cards, home mortgage, shopping sprees and car note, as well as a gambling iTunes app.

Sentencing scheduled for November

Although a judge will determine the consequences for this case in November, the woman in question already agreed to forfeit the money allegedly stolen. As a result, she may lose her home, recreational vehicles and retirement savings.

An aggravated identity theft conviction requires at least two years served, while wire fraud could result in up to 20 years of incarceration in a federal prison. Time will tell what consequences a judge will order in this case. However, it’s a reminder about the importance of taking white collar charges seriously for the best possible outcome.