Amery woman sentenced to prison after stealing over $500k from trust fund
An FBI investigation found the woman had been using the money at casinos, on personal items and home improvement projects.
MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - An Amery woman is sentenced to prison after stealing over half a million dollars from a special needs trust fund.
43-year-old Sarah Tischer was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release in federal court Wednesday.
According to a release, Tischer established a special needs trust for a person with severe medical and developmental disabilities in 2017. Tischer was the trustee, meaning she could make payments from the trust on behalf of the beneficiary. Tischer regularly withdrew money from the account and deposited the funds into various bank accounts, and when the money was spent from those accounts, it was documented in the trust’s ledger. A bank for one of these accounts told the Polk County Human Services Department in January of 2020 that someone was spending money from the trust at a casino in Turtle Lake, Wis. Polk County officials held an injunction hearing and then removed Tischer as trustee.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation began a criminal investigation and looked at financial records from the trust. After review, the FBI found that Tischer withdrew $526,413 from the trust fraudulently and spent the money at casinos, on personal items and home improvement projects. Tischer also forged ledger entries in order to hide her activity.
U.S. District Judge James Peterson said during sentencing that Tischer had a long-term pattern of wrongdoing and pointed out the lasting impact her actions had on the trust’s beneficiary. Tischer was charged in U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin after an investigation by the FBI.
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