Polk County Woman Sentenced for Making a Forged Security
MADISON, WIS. -- Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Sarah McKenzie, 41, Luck, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William Conley to one year and one day in federal prison for making a forged security. Her prison sentence will be followed by two years of supervised release. McKenzie pleaded guilty to this charge on October 30, 2017.
McKenzie worked at Core Products International in Osceola, Wis., as Accounts Manager and Human Resources Director. In August 2016, employees in Core Product’s accounting department examined company bank statements and discovered company checks bearing duplicate check numbers that were either written to McKenzie or written to “Cash.” The employees also noticed that the checks written to McKenzie were signed in CEO Royce Keehr’s name but the signature did not appear to be genuine.
The subsequent criminal investigation, along with an internal company audit, revealed that between 2006 and August 2016, McKenzie generated approximately 305 company checks written to herself or to “Cash” and then forged Keehr’s name on the checks. The total amount of these checks was $291,436.26.
In addition, between 2011 and August 2016, McKenzie generated 98 company checks to “Cash” which she signed, endorsed, and negotiated at a bank. There was no documentation in the company’s books and records to support the creation of the checks. The total amount of these checks was $105,205.00.
Bank records show that McKenzie spent the majority of the stolen money at casinos or on psychic hotlines. In sentencing McKenzie, Judge Conley noted that her criminal conduct was “outrageous” and was troubled by how long the embezzlement continued.
The charges against McKenzie were a result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and Osceola Police Department. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner.