Elcho clerk-treasurer accused of theft, forgery - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Elcho clerk-treasurer accused of theft, forgery

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ANTIGO (WAOW) - The clerk-treasurer for the Town of Elcho has been charged with 43 felonies that accuse her of forging checks worth nearly $100,000 and spending town money at casinos in three states.

Melissa Bloechl, 43, was charged Wednesday with one count of theft, two counts of forgery and 40 counts of misconduct in office in incidents between January 2011 and August of this year, according to the criminal complaint.

Bloechl forged two checks worth $52,000 and $40,000, moving money from one town account into another that she had access to with a debit card, the complaint said. Bank records indicate Bloechl made more than 40 transactions withdrawing money from the card at casinos in Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada, the complaint said.

"None of these withdrawals was for town business," the complaint said.

An investigation of Bloechl began about a week ago when the bank for the Town of Elcho provided documents to Town Chairman Gary Johnson that indicated "thousands" of dollars had been withdrawn from the township's account over several years and raised questions about the authenticity of three signatures on two checks, including one that was voided, the complaint said.

Bloechl has been clerk-treasurer about 10 years, Johnson said Friday. Elcho is in Langlade County, north of Antigo.

No attorney for Bloechl was listed in online court records. Bloechl did not immediately return a telephone message Friday.

Bloechl's next scheduled court development is a status conference Sept. 11, court records said.

The maximum punishment for all the charges is 162 years in prison, court records said.

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