AP NEWS

Lake Delton accountant charged in $75K check fraud scheme

March 18, 2019

Prosecutors charge that three people, including the former accountant of the Palace Theater in Lake Delton, participated in a scheme to siphon more than $75,000 from the business in order to finance drug purchases.

According to charging documents, a manager at the theater called police in January to report that an internal investigation showed the business’ accountant forged more than $6,000 in checks to himself.

Prosecutors say a subsequent law enforcement probe revealed a much larger scheme. They allege that since June 2018 the former accountant, Jeremy M. Wall, 33, of McFarland, has written 165 fraudulent checks totaling more than $75,000.

The Sauk County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday charged Wall with one felony count of fraudulent writings and two counts of felony forgery. Prosecutors charged two others, 28-year-old Jessica M. Bowers and 32-year-old Ashley N. Kirchoffner, both of Wisconsin Dells, with multiple felony forgery counts.

The criminal complaint states that when an officer responded to the theater in January, he watched the theater’s general manager confront Wall about the fraudulent checks prior to firing him.

“Wall advised he has a drug habit and used the money to support it,” the complaint states.

Prosecutors allege that Wall altered the books to make it appear as though he wrote the checks to vendors that do business with the theater. However, investigators say surveillance videos they obtained from several Lake Delton area businesses show Wall, Bowers and Kirchoffner cashing the checks.

The felony charges against the three defendants each carry a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison. No court dates have been set in the case.