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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 14, 2016

Milltown Woman Sentenced for Stealing from Post Office

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Ruthmarie Haanen, 44, Milltown, Wis., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker to one year of probation for stealing money from the Milltown Post Office while she was a postal employee.   Haanen pleaded guilty to this misdemeanor charge on November 5, 2015.

Haanen worked for the Milltown Post Office from June 2013 through September 2014 as a Postmaster Relief, and as such, was responsible for the day-to-day interactions with customers at the post office, including the handling of cash transactions.  In early 2014, the Postmaster discovered excessive shortages in the cash and stamp stock. 

During the course of the investigation, cameras placed in the post office captured Haanen stealing cash, including $1,000 she took for payment of a money order that she later voided.  In total, Judge Crocker found that Haanen stole $5,754.74 during the course of her employment at Milltown, and ordered Haanen to pay restitution in that amount.

Haanen admitted to stealing the $1,000 from the money order, as well as some cash, although she did not believe she took as much as Judge Crocker determined.  In sentencing Haanen, Judge Crocker explained that while he believed Haanen when she said she did not think that she took that much, it is common for people who are stealing over a period of time to be unaware of the total amount they took.  During the investigation, Haanen explained that she took the money to support her daily trips to the casino to gamble, and to pay bills.

The charge against Haanen was the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S.  Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Przybylinski Finn. 

Updated February 4, 2016