Custer woman gets one year in jail, long probation for embezzlem - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Custer woman gets one year in jail, long probation for embezzlement

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - A 44-year-old Custer woman accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from her employer was sentenced to a year in jail and 10 years probation Tuesday, according to online Portage County court records.

After pleading no contest in a plea deal with prosecutors, Suzanne Bertz was convicted of four counts of theft in a business setting in writing unauthorized checks to herself.

If Bertz violates her probation, she would face up to six years in prison, court records said.

The embezzlement involved "numerous businesses" owned by Schertz-Farhner LLC of Stevens Point, the criminal complaint said.

Bertz acknowledged to investigators that she stole about $88,000 from her employer in the scheme that started when her bills "exceeded her income and she needed money," the complaint said. Schertz-Farhner estimated the embezzlement at $150,000.

"She stated that she began by taking small amounts at first but that it snowballed into more frequent and high value thefts," the complaint said.

The jail sentence with work privileges must start within 30 days, court records said. 

One of the conditions of Bertz's probation is that she pay restitution, which will be determined later, court records said.

Bertz said she also used the company credit card to make unauthorized purchases, such as concert and sporting event tickets, the complaint said.

A former boyfriend who cashed the embezzled checks for Bertz told investigators that she told him all the checks were part of her "compensation" from her employment at the various businesses owned and operated by Schertz-Fahrner.

Another boyfriend indicated he went to Milwaukee Brewers games and Summerfest with Bertz and she paid for the outings and was "always willing to spend money freely," the complaint said.

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