Trucking Company Bookkeeper With History of Forgery Now Faces 71 New Charges
Kiel, WI – A 51-year-old Wisconsin woman already on probation from a forgery conviction is now accused of scheming her way to stealing more than $65,000 from a trucking company.
On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, Manitowoc County prosecutors filed 71 counts against Karen S. Schwind, of Fond du Lac, WI, for allegedly engaging in a forgery scheme against a small Kiel-trucking company, Steller & Son LLC, resulting in theft of more than $65,000.
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show Stellar & Son operates 10 power units and employs 10 drivers.
According to the criminal complaint, the alleged scheme lasted between April 25, 2018 and June 4, 2019.
The owner of the trucking company became suspicious in June of last year after discovering a company check made payable to Schwind in an amount over $2,000 which he suspected she forged his signature on.
After an audit, the owner informed authorities in September that the suspected scheme was much worse than originally believed.
Court documents indicate he discovered other instances of unauthorized checks in which dollar amounts “had gone up dramatically and that his company was suffering significantly.”
The audit uncovered a loss of almost $66,000, prosecutors allege.
Authorities allege Schwind forged 70 checks in all and stole $37,607.92 from the business in 2018, and $25,585.49 in 2019.
Further, the criminal complaint asserts she altered the company’s business records to conceal her unlawful activity.
Schwind was still serving probation stemming from a forgery conviction in a previous case at the time she was hired by Steller & Son in 2017, court records show.
In that case, she admitted to stealing more than $24,000 because she needed the money to pay her bills.
The owner of Steller & Son admitted he should have checked her criminal record but didn’t because “she came from a referred source that he trusted.”
On Thursday, February 6, Schwind was located in Kewaunee, WI.
She was taken into custody by the Kiel Police Department (KPD) and then transported to the Manitowoc County Jail where she is being held on two counts of Theft in a Business Setting Between $10,000 and $100,000 and 69 counts of Fraudulent Writing by a Corporation Officer.
“This investigation is still ongoing so at this time, no additional information will be released,” a statement from KPD said.
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