Trial ordered in Wausau embezzlement case - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Trial ordered in Wausau embezzlement case

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WAUSAU (WAOW) - The former executive director of the Wausau Area Builders Association accused of embezzling nearly $170,000 from the group was ordered to stand trial Wednesday.

Christopher Briquelet, 43, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and Sept. 5 was set for him to return to court to enter pleas to 14 felony counts of theft from a business, according to online Marathon County court records.

A criminal 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. The audit 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."

Briquelet is free on a $150,000 signature bond, online court records said.

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