A former secretary at an Oconomowoc-based building company was charged with seven felonies after she allegedly used the company's checking account to write herself almost $165,000 in checks over a 5 1/2 year period.
Julie A. Carey, 48, of Dousman, faces seven felony theft in a business setting charges, according to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court today.
Carey, a secretary with Bartelme Builders Inc. of Oconomowoc for 14 years, was entrusted with the company's checking account and had allegedly been converting money from the Bartelme account to the business that she owned with her husband - Quality Contracting.
According to the criminal complaint, the owner of the Barelme business called police on May 27 to report that one of his employees had been stealing from him. At the time, he was unsure of how much money was missing or the length of the period in which the thefts had occurred.
Carey originally denied taking any money, but subsequently confessed that she had taken money from the company.
Police contacted Carey two days later, who admitted that she had been writing checks out to her own company for the last five years, court documents showed.
She told police that she was only authorized to use the company's checking account to pay company bills and payroll. Carey allegedly used the money for her own personal use, according to the criminal complaint.
One of the company's owners would sign the blank checks that Carey presented, trusting that she was using them to pay bills.
Carey told police that she knew that her actions were illegal, but she claimed no one, including her husband, the co-owner of Quality Contracting, was aware of her actions.
She began writing herself the checks in 2006, stealing between $20,000 and $30,000 each year until Bartelme employees grew wise to the scheme in May 2012. In that period, she stole more than $164,530.
If convicted of all seven felony charges, Carey faces a maximum penalty of up to $175,000 in fines and 70 years in prison. She is scheduled to make her initial court appearance on Sept. 24 at 8:15 a.m.