A 35-year-old Waukesha woman is accused of stealing nearly $230,000 from a Town of Waukesha man and running up $80,000 in charges on his credit cards while she worked as his bookkeeper, according to a criminal complaint.
Kelly M. Dewane was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Wednesday with four counts of theft of more than $10,000 from a business and five counts of credit card fraud. If convicted, she faces up to 33 years in prison and $150,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
The man has two part-time groundskeepers and a part-time housekeeper and in 2008 he hired Dewane to be his bookkeeper and take care of his expenses. In December 2011, Dewane needed some time off due to health issues, so the man decided to take control of his finances.
In April he asked Dewane to return all of his bank and book records, but she never did. He demanded again she return the items in May, but she refused the request again.
During that time the man learned he had an $18,000 balance on one of his credit cards when there should have been nothing. He contacted Dewane about the charges and she said it must be a mistake and she would handle it, however, when the man contacted the credit card company again he learned Dewane never called.
Dewane finally gave the man some of his records in June along with a laptop, which no longer worked. However, he went through records and discovered Dewane had written 277 unauthorized checks for a total loss of $229,034 between 2009 and 2012. He went through credit card records and found roughly $80,000 in unauthorized charges during the same time period along with $7,500 charged by Dewane to rent cars on several occasions.
Dewane refused to answer questions when approached by police officers. She will make her initial appearance in court Dec. 17.