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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Woman Sentenced To 6 Month For Theft Of Government Funds

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Lori Portner, 53, Lafayette, Ind., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to six months in prison, followed by six months of home confinement and 30 months of supervised release, for theft of government funds.   Portner pleaded guilty to this charge on August 20, 2014.

For many years, Portner was the full-time office manager for the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) in La Crosse, Wis.  DVIP received federal grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice through the Victims of Crimes Act and they administered grant monies for domestic violence intervention.  As the office manager, Portner was responsible for payroll as well as other administrative duties. 

  In June 2007, Portner’s hours were reduced to part-time because she had a full-time job with a different employer.  Portner continued to pay herself as if she were still working full-time at DVIP and from June 2007 to June 2010, she overpaid herself approximately $116,000.

During that same time, Portner misused the DVIP credit card that was issued in her name.  Portner used the credit card to purchase approximately $27,000 of personal items for herself. In an attempt to avoid detection, Portner had the DVIP credit card statement sent to her home, instead of to the DVIP office.

The charge against Portner was the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General and the La Crosse Police Department.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.

Updated July 14, 2015