Man accused of embezzling nearly $170,000 from Wausau Area Build - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Man accused of embezzling nearly $170,000 from Wausau Area Builders Association

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WAUSAU (WAOW) – The former executive director of the Wausau Area Builders Association embezzled nearly $170,000 from the group and told authorities he blamed drugs and alcohol for his behavior, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.

Christopher Briquelet, 43, was charged with 14 felony counts of theft from a business. A judge allowed him to be free from jail on a $150,000 signature bond, online court records said.

There was no attorney listed for Briquelet in online court records.

The complaint said the thefts involved duplicate payroll checks written to Briquelet, non-payroll checks written to him and unauthorized credit card use.

The charges were filed after the association did an audit of its books from when it hired Briquelet in 2009 until he was let go in March 2012 that concluded he received $167,867 in “unauthorized purchases and compensation,” the complaint said.

In July 2012, before the association went to police as it was trying to recover all its money, Briquelet wrote an email indicating “my intention is to fully repay the WABA for the misappropriated funds,” the complaint said.

Four months earlier, he signed a document agreeing to repay the association within 10 days of being presented a bill for the embezzled money, the complaint said.

Briquelet told an attorney for the association that he was “shocked” at the amount that he was accused of embezzling and blamed his behavior on a Vicodin addiction, the complaint said.
 
Wausau police began its investigation of the missing money in August 2012, just days after the association's attorney emailed Briquelet complaining of frustration with his "excuses."
 
"A reasonable person would assume that staying out of prison would be very important and top the list of our priorities," the attorney wrote, according to the complaint.


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