Whitefish Bay man, woman sentenced to probation in public assistance fraud case

MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- A Whitefish Bay man and woman accused of bilking the government out of $115,000 worth of public assistance benefits meant for the poor have been sentenced to probation.

52-year-old Todd Schaller on Wednesday, July 13th pleaded guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor public assistance fraud.

Schaller was then sentenced to serve 12 months in the House of Correction -- straight time, with credit for three days time served. That sentence was stayed, and Schaller was sentenced to serve 12 months probation.

He must perform 250 hours of community service, he has been suspended from the FoodShare program for one year, and he must pay court costs.

Mary Carini-Gallagher and Todd Schaller



As for 52-year-old Mary Carini-Gallagher, a count of public assistance fraud was dismissed and read-in for the purposes of sentencing. She pleaded guilty to a second charge, failure to disclose event affecting eligibility.

Carini-Gallagher was sentenced to serve one year in the House of Correction -- but that sentence was stayed. Carini-Gallagher was placed on probation for 18 months. As part of that probation, she must complete 350 hours of community service. She too has been suspended from the FoodShare program for one year and must pay court costs.

Carini-Gallagher and Schaller seemed like a typical suburban couple -- living in a home in Whitefish Bay valued at nearly $400,000.

Mary Carini-Gallagher and Todd Schaller's Whitefish Bay home



Search warrant executed at Mary Carini-Gallagher and Todd Schaller's Whitefish Bay home



Whitefish Bay police showed up at that home near Santa Monica Boulevard and Belle Avenue in Whitefish Bay in March of 2015 with a search warrant.

A criminal complaint says the couple bilked the government out of $115,000 worth of public assistance benefits meant for the poor.

The complaint says some of this dates back to 2007, and Carini-Gallagher allegedly didn't tell officials that she shared the Whitefish Bay home with Schaller -- even during a seven-year period during which Schaller had an income of more than a million dollars.

"I think it's a good thing when justice prevails. Absolutely," Joanne Schulz said.

Schulz knows Carini-Gallagher. She hired Carini-Gallagher to work at her Whitefish Bay luggage store last year.

When the search warrant was executed at the Carini-Gallagher/Schaller home, thousands of dollars worth of stolen luggage was recovered.

Schulz found her items being sold on eBay.

Schulz says in all, inventory at the store showed a total of $90,000 in missing merchandise.

So far, Carini-Gallagher hasn't been charged in connection with that stolen luggage.

"The one thing she can't have is any more of my time. Her going to jail over this or not, is not going to help me in my store," Schulz said.

Joanne Schulz Whitefish Bay luggage store



No one answered the door at the Whitefish Bay home when FOX6 News stopped by on Monday, December 21st.

The charging document indicates Carini-Gallagher told police being a mother was what she was born do to -- and that she falsified the information given to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services so she could stay at home with her children.