You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Grand Jury Returns Indictments

MADISON, WIS. -- A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments yesterday.  You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Luck Resident Charged with Fraud & Tax Crime

Lisa Buchholz, 48, Luck, Wis., is charged with six counts of wire fraud, four counts of failing to file income tax returns, and three counts of assisting in the preparation of a false income tax return for another individual.  The indictment alleges that while employed as a bookkeeper for Four Seasons Wood Products (FSWP) in Frederic, Wis., from May 2008 until June 2012, she devised a scheme to defraud the company, causing FSWP to sustain a loss of approximately $136,886.

The indictment alleges that as part of the scheme to defraud FSWP, Buchholz:

  1. used the FSWP accounting system to make payroll payments to two family members who were not employed by FSWP;
  2. used the FSWP accounting system to make payments to pay her mortgage;
  3. used the FSWP accounting system to make payments to herself and a family member in the name of others;
  4. created false W-2s for herself that did not report the embezzled payments made to her or to others on her behalf;
  5. failed to remit to the federal government any of the FSWP employee W-2s, including her own, for the years 2009, 2010, and 2011;
  6. intercepted checks payable to FSWP from the incoming mail, endorsed them, and deposited them into her personal checking account, using the proceeds to purchase a vehicle, pay property taxes on her home, and withdraw cash;
  7. made false statements to the FSWP banker; and
  8. told the FWSP owner that her computer had crashed and the accounting records were lost.

In addition, the indictment charges that Buchholz attempted to evade taxes due on her income by failing to file an individual income tax return with the IRS for 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, and that she engaged in acts of evasion by making false statements to an IRS criminal investigator during an interview in 2013, and by misusing FSWP’s accounting and payroll systems to conceal her receipt of embezzled income.

The indictment also charges Buchholz with three counts of assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns for an individual identified as R.B. in the indictment.  It is alleged that these returns falsely represented that the taxpayer R.B. was entitled to claim head of household filing status and an earned income credit.

If convicted, Buchholz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each wire fraud count, and five years on each tax count.  The charges against her are the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rita M. Rumbelow and Daniel J. Graber.

Madison Woman Charged with Stealing Federal Grant Funds

Laura A. Ewing, 46, Madison, Wis., is charged with embezzling $50,383.27 in federal grant funds.  The indictment alleges that from January 2012 through May 2014, while employed at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA) as the finance and operations manager, Ewing issued 34 checks payable to herself and recorded them in the accounting system as being paid to various vendors.  According to the indictment, the embezzled funds were grants that WCASA had received from the U.S. Department of Justice through federal programs provided by the Violence Against Women Act. 

If convicted, Ewing faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against her is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow. 

Washington State Man Charged with Using Electronic Communication System to Harass Another Person

Travis Eicher, 38, Richland, Wash., is charged with using an electronic communication system to harass and intimidate another person.  The indictment alleges that he did so from February to March 2015.  Eicher is also charged with two counts of falsely stating he was an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The indictment alleges that he made the statement to the employer of the victim and to the victim.

If convicted, Eicher faces five years in federal prison on the charge of using an electronic communication system to harass another person, and three years in federal prison on each count of impersonating an agent.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman. 

Madison Man Charged with Gun Crimes

Eric Day, 35, Madison, Wis., is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a sawed-off shotgun.  The indictment alleges that on January 24, 2016, he possessed a Remington 12 gauge shotgun, and that the shotgun had a barrel less than 18 inches in length.

If convicted, Day faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each count.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.

Madison Man Charged with Gun & Drug Crimes

Tommie Evans, 32, Madison, Wis., is charged in a superseding indictment with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, and possessing heroin with the intent to distribute.  The superseding indictment alleges that he committed these crimes on March 6, 2015. 

In an indictment returned by the grand jury on April 1, 2015, Evans was charged with being a felon in possession of a Glock .40 caliber pistol.  The superseding indictment adds the two drug charges. 

If convicted, Evans faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on the gun charge, and 20 years on each drug charge.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.

Beloit Man Charged with Gun Crime

Martin Leon, 26, Beloit, Wis., is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  The indictment alleges that on February 7, 2016, he possessed a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol and ammunition.  

If convicted, Leon faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Beloit Police Department.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber.

Beloit Man Charged with Failing to Update Sex Offender Registration

Clifford Snipes, 44, Beloit, Wis., is charged with failing to update his registration as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.  The indictment alleges that between February and November 2015, Snipes traveled from Wisconsin to Texas and failed to update his registration.

If convicted, Snipes faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie S. Pfluger.

Mexican Citizen Charged with Illegally Reentering U.S.

Jose Santiago Cruz, 38, a Mexican citizen found in Taylor County, Wis., is charged with illegally reentering the United States after previously being deported.  The indictment alleges that he was found in the U.S. on November 18, 2015. 

If convicted, Cruz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie S. Pfluger.

 

Topic: 
Immigration
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Tax
Updated February 18, 2016