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West Allis bank auditor to admit to embezzling $100,000

John Diedrich

Jan. 6, 2013

A former bank auditor has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to embezzling $100,000 and faces time in prison, according to court records.

Denise A. Lewandowski, 50, of West Allis, signed a plea agreement late last month admitting she stole from her employer, Securant Bank & Trust in Milwaukee. She is set to appear and enter her plea Feb. 8.

Lewandowski was hired by the bank in 1999 and was internal auditor in 2011 when the bank's chief operating officer discovered what the plea agreement describes as an "odd debit entry" of $85,616 on a bank record.

Lewandowski initially denied any knowledge but more investigation showed she was responsible. According to the plea agreement, she embezzled $103,578 between 2007 and 2011 and put the money into nine different accounts belonging to family members and someone to whom she owed a debt.

She was questioned in May 2011 and remained silent. She was fired. She surrendered her 401K valued at $50,540, her unused vacation worth $8,740 and signed a 15-year note at 5% for $44,299 secured by a mortgage on property she owns in Adams County.

Lewandowski was interviewed by the FBI in July 2011 and admitted the embezzlement. She said she didn't think anyone outside the bank was auditing the books. She said she stole money to cover for her personal financial problems but did not steal more than she needed.

Federal sentencing guidelines call for 15 to 21 months in prison. She will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa. No date has been set.

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