Sheboygan woman embezzled $100K from employer, prosecutors say
SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Wis. - A Sheboygan woman is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from her former employer, the Sheboygan County Home Builders Association, over the course of more than five years.
Prosecutors say Krisi Kaiser, 42, blamed it on a dead man.
According to a criminal complaint, Kaiser admitted to the theft as she was being fired – telling the association's president-elect that it all started in 2017.
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Kaiser claimed she had been "pressured by her deceased boyfriend to steal" and continued to do so after his death, per the complaint. She transferred money from the association's account into her personal one and fraudulently opened credit cards in the association's name.
Investigators said, when they reviewed credit statements, they saw Kaiser made personal purchases to places like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and even liquor stores and casinos. There were regular charges to cellphone and streaming accounts and payments for flights across the country, too – even collect calls to inmates.
Sheboygan County Home Builders Association
Kaiser is charged with one count of theft (business setting over $100,000) and one count of uttering a forgery. Her attorney told FOX6 News he declined to comment on the matter.
Statement from Jake Wener, president of Sheboygan County Home Builders Association:
"We are disappointed that someone we trusted took advantage of our members, association and mission. Throughout our internal investigation of this matter, we have and will continue to take steps to secure our operations to ensure this won’t happen again. Because this is an open criminal investigation, we have no further comment."
According to the complaint, Plymouth police officer met with a witness on Dec. 20, 2022. The witness said she was president-elect of the Sheboygan County Home Builders Association and wanted to report embezzlement.
This witness told police that the association is made up of a board and one employee, identified as Kaiser. The witness said Kaiser was let go on Dec. 20, 2022, because she had been missing deadlines, billing cycles and was unorganized. Kaiser had been with the association for six years.
Per the complaint, the witness said that when she met with Kaiser to let her go from her employment, that Kaiser came clean and said that she had been taking money from the association starting approximately five years earlier. Kaiser allegedly told the witness that she had been pressured by her now deceased boyfriend to steal, but she continued to take money even after he died.
According to the complaint, Kaiser said she would transfer money out of the association’s account into her personal account. She would then move money around from different accounts to make sure billing items cleared. She also admitted to fudging bank statements.
Plymouth Police Department
Police reviewed financial statements from the association that showed a Visa credit card in Kaiser's name and the association’s name. The credit card was not authorized by the association and the association did not have any knowledge of its existence. The credit card statements went back to November 2017. Kaiser's name was on all the credit card statements since 2017. The credit card was opened in 2017 and through January 2023.
On Jan. 29, 2023, police reviewed Wisconsin Bank and Trust bank records from the association’s previous bank. The account was open from 2017 through March 2019, when it was closed. The balance – as of Dec. 31, 2016 – was $18,179.32. By the time the account was closed on March 19, 2019, it was overdrawn $100.66. There were multiple credit cards payments made from the account, according to the complaint.
The complaint indicates many of the payments were for the unauthorized Wisconsin Bank and Trust Visa card. There were also payments made to a Capital One account with Kaiser's name on it, as well as a Credit One Bank account, also in Kaiser's name. A bank statement that Kaiser gave to the association gave an ending balance of the Wisconsin Bank and Trust records with an ending balance of $21,476.30. There were four legitimate withdrawals which totaled $268.80. The legitimate bank statement had an ending balance of $113.80. The total discrepancy in that account was $21,362.50, according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators then reviewed the unauthorized Wisconsin Bank and Trust Visa credit card that was in Kaiser's name with the association. There were legitimate business charges from July 2019 to February 2020. Police say that the remainder of the charges on the card appeared to be personal purchases. There were multiple purchases at liquor stores, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and casinos. Additionally, there were calls to Securus, which is the system used to make phone calls to inmates in Sheboygan County.
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According to the complaint, there were also regular and recurring charges to Hulu, Charter, Starz, Amazon Prime, Boost Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Playstation Network. Non-work-related flights were purchased to Orlando, Houston, Phoenix and Las Vegas – as well as a couple of Spirit Airline transactions without a destination listed. Also listed were 200 charges to Apple and iTunes.
From June 23, 2020, to Aug. 29, 2020, there were 13 different charges to the credit card processing company Square. The account holder on the Square account was listed to the now deceased boyfriend of Kaiser. The total amount made to square during the time frame was $4,600. There were also multiple Cash App purchases to a number of different people.
Investigators were able to match the dollar amount of the credit card bill payments to withdrawals from the various accounts owned by the association. Kaiser was allegedly using the unauthorized credit card for personal purchases then paying the bill using bank accounts owned by the association.
According to complaint, the total unauthorized purchases made by Kaiser listed on credit card statements were:
- 2017: $9,338.45
- 2018: $15,846.38
- 2021: $23,433.43
- 2022: $39,052.73
The 2019-2020 transaction history was also present and showed multiple purchases made by Kaiser on an unauthorized credit card, with payments towards that credit card using the association’s bank account.
In 2023, even after Kaiser was fired, there were four separate purchases on the credit card. Other than the 2023 statement, the 2017-2022 purchases were paid off from the association’s bank accounts.