By Sara Tischauser
Charges were filed against Kathleen F. Pasch, Black Creek, 60, for theft of movable property greater than $100,000 and 11 counts of forgery. The theft is a Felony F in severity and the forgery is a Felony H in severity.
The complaint was filed on July 18 and the case was initiated by electronic filing on July 22 according to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website.
The criminal complaint stated that on or about Aug. 17, 2018, that Pasch “did intentionally take and carry away, transfer, or use movable property of Black Creek Rescue Services to wit: money, having a value that exceeds $100,000 without consent and with intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession of the property […]” The charge of theft of movable property greater than $100,000 carries a maximum sentence of not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than 12 years and 6 six months or both.
Pasch is also charged with 11 counts of forgery spanning from Jan. 22, 2018, to July 21, 2018. Each forgery count has a maximum of a fine not greater than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than six years, or both if convicted.
Per the criminal complaint: “Special Agent Bradley Kust with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that on Aug. 16, 2018, he received information that Black Creek Police Chief Lowell James had sought the DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in investigating a possible employee theft case involving the treasurer of the Black Creek Rescue Service. Chief James advised that the suspect had been identified as Kathleen Pasch, who is referred to hereafter as the defendant.
“Chief James stated that both he and other members of the Rescue Service discovered that the defendant had made numerous ATM withdrawals against the Rescue Service account that totaled over $90,000 and was also suspected of utilizing both the Rescue Service checking and credit accounts to illegally obtain additional funds. Moreover, Chief James suspected that the defendant had forged his signatures on some of the checks.”
The complaint states that James met with Jenni Court, Black Creek Rescue Service secretary, and Ryan Schomisch, Black Creek emergency management co-coordinator, at BMO Harris Bank on Aug. 15, 2018.
Per the complaint: “Jenni explained that on Aug. 14, 2018, the defendant was confronted by the officers of the Black Creek Rescue Service about some missing funds from their account. At that time, according to Jenni, the defendant admitted that she had a gambling problem and that she had taken funds from the Rescue Service to support her addiction. The defendant acknowledged that what she did was wrong and claimed that she always intended to repay the money that she stole.”
In the complaint Kust said that he reviewed bank statements corresponding to the Rescue Service’s accounts from 2015-2018. This was the time frame Pasch served at the co-coordinator and treasurer for the Rescue Services.
Per the complaint Kust found
Fiscal year 2015:
●32 ATM withdrawals totaling $10,908 (including fees)
●16 checks equal to or divisible by 350 totaling $11,200
●7 debit card purchases at Walmart, Sal’s Foods, Black Creek Convenience, Office Depot, China Garden and Copps Foods totaling $448.94 that were identified as not related to the Rescue Service.
Fiscal year 2016:
●103 ATM withdrawals totaling $36,968.50 (including fees)
●13 checks equal to or divisible by 350 totaling $10,250
●7 debit card purchases totaling $659.36 at Office Depot, Sam’s Club, Big Lots, Walmart, U.S. Postal Service and Don’s Quality Market that were identified as not related to the Rescue Service.
Fiscal year 2017:
●113 ATM withdrawals totaling $32,307.50 (including fees)
●10 checks equal to or divisible by 350 totaling $11,850
●7 debit card purchases totaling $698.29 at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Menard’s, U.S. Postal Service, Sam’s Club, Don’s Quality Market and Sal’s Foods that were identified as not related to the Rescue Service
●One payment to a Capital One Credit Card for $200.
Fiscal year 2018:
●47 ATM withdrawals totaling $12,214
●12 checks equal or divisible by 350 totaling $9,450
●4 debit card purchases totaling $308.39 to Amazon Marketplace, Walmart and Sam’s Club that were identified as not related to the Rescue Service
●9 payments to a Capitol One Credit Card.
Per the complaint Pasch was supposed to be paid $350 per month for her position with the Rescue Service. However, Kust found no consistent pattern with the checks and when they were issued.
Per the complaint Court said all but one of the checks in 2018 forged Chief James’ signature and James confirmed this as well.
The 11 forged checks were from Jan. 22, 2018, to July 21, 2018, and totaled $5,250. All of the forged checks were made payable to “Kathy Pasch” and were endorsed by Pasch and signed in the name of “Lowell James.”
The initial court appearance is set for Aug. 13 at 1 p.m. in Commissioner Courtroom A.
Pasch could not be reached for comment. A message was left for Pasch on July 29.