Former Lutheran Social Services employee charged with theft

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A former employee at Lutheran Social services has been charged with felony theft after allegedly embezzling $92,000 -- however her lawyer believes someone at the organization is making false claims.

Beryl Velguth worked as a Risk Manager at LSS until this spring. She is accused of billing multiple law firms for the same case and having checks mailed to her home address. In November, 2012, an audit ordered by managers at Lutheran Social Services uncovered the fraudulent billing.

According to prosecutors, Howard Law and Legal Services was one of the firms listed. There is no existing address or phone number for the firm, and it is not listed on the Wisconsin Bar Association website. Checks being mailed to Howard Law, however, were allegedly going to an address in Wales, Wisconsin -- which is also where Velguth resides.

Authorities believe Velguth made up the law firm, billed them, then cashed the checks. LSS records show this occurred on eight different occasions between October 2012 and April 2013.

"We deny the allegation in whole. It's not true," said William Sulton, Velguth's attorney. "This is simply a situation where former colleagues who don't get along have made an incredibly wild and reckless allegation."

Sulton says there is more to the story that will come out as the case moves forward.

Lutheran Social Services leaders say Velguth was found and arrested in Montana. Sulton says the woman is not currently in custody.