Green Bay woman charged with additional counts of felony theft in fraud investigation
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A woman accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars has been formally charged with additional counts of theft.
42-year-old Theresa Lasee is now facing one count of Felony Theft - Movable Property of more than $100,000 and two counts of Felony Theft between $5,000 and $10,000. Those charges were filed Wednesday afternoon in Brown County Court.
As Action 2 News first reported Tuesday, investigators say Lasee is being charged in a “significant financial fraud investigation”. Two other criminal complaints - one filed in July and another in August - charge Lasee with seven counts of felony theft. With Wednesday’s complaint, Lasee now faces a total of 10 felony charges.
In the complaint filed Wednesday, a man identified as JTW says he had sold his business in 2019 and the building in 2020. He states Lasee was one of his employees, and that she handled all day to day money transactions, knew all the account numbers, and also was his personal accountant - she handled all his personal money and transactions, as well as for his brother and mothers.
Documents state JTW received $559,932.75 for his business on October 21, 2019, and that he left it all in one bank account. It goes on to say he then realized all the money was gone, and that he received notices he wasn’t paying vehicle payments, which he said Lasee handled. He also states in the complaint he discovered multiple payments that he never had, such as a Capital One, an apartment, insurance premiums, and payments to people he does not know. In addition, court documents state Lasee issued checks to herself for a total of $100,000 since October of 2019, and JTW states he never gave Lasee - or anyone else- permission to take his money.
Another victim, identified in the complaint as 71-year-old GAW of Green Bay, says Lasee financially exploited him. The complaint states Lasee met with GAW on two occasions, collected five checks from him, and represented that the money would be applied towards a policy for him, however, it states the money was used by Lasee to pay for her personal mortgage. GAW estimates he lost more than $8,200.
Yet another victim, identified as a 92-year-old Green Bay woman with the initials of FEW, states Lasee accessed her insurance and investment accounts and - without FEW’s permission or knowledge - used funds from the accounts to be dispersed to a financial account that belonged to JTW. Court documents state Lasee had access and control of those accounts, and drained them. FEW’s loss for this incident was determined to be more than $7,500.
In addition, documents state Lasee allegedly attempted to wire $21,000 out of a policy held by FEW - wo the complaint states was compelled by Lasee to surrender - to a third party in Tennessee, however FEW’s bank and daughter, identified in the complaint as SLB, stopped the transaction. However, the complaint states FEW lost more than $11,670 due to a surrender charge.
Documents state in August of 2021, SLB contacted police, and it was discovered Lassee forged FEW’s signature on multiple documents, including a surrender of a life insurance policy, as well as a payment worth $42,000. Police say they spoke with SLB about other documents, including a wire transfer worth $21,000 to a woman in Tennessee. FEW, according to the complaint, had believed the money was being used to purchase a policy.
According to court documents, police spoke with the woman in Tennessee who was supposed to receive the wire payments, identified as Jessica Holmes. Police told Holmes and her husband, Edward, that the source of the funds used to buy the motorcycle they had sold to a man were obtained fraudulently. They then gave police information, saying in the complaint that a woman was paying for the bike on behalf of her boyfriend, adding there were three wires, which is why Holmes’ bank had denied it. The banks reported that the wires were an indicator of wire fraud. The wire transfer, according to court documents, states the sender had reported buying a vehicle from a sister, and Jessica Holmes told police she didn’t have a sister in Wisconsin.
Eventually, documents state the couple told police the man who bought the bike flew to Tennessee and took an Uber or a cab to their home, and gave them $25,000 in cash to pay for the motorcycle. The complaint states Edward recalled being upset about being charged with wire transfer fees, and was told by the buyer that the buyer would pay for all of the fees, which Edward did not believe, adding he thought the guy was full of s***.
During a court appearance Wednesday, the state recommended a $50,000 cash bond, and cited two pending felony cases for Lasee, one with its own $10,000 bond.
In addition, the state said Lasee has incentive to flee, and has the money to do so based on her crime.
Meanwhile, the defense argued that since Lasee has no record before these charges, and turned herself in at the lawyer’s office, they asked for a $10,000 bond.
Ultimately, a $50,000 signature bond was ordered by the judge, as well as all the state’s conditions, which included no contacted with certain individuals or their residences, among others.
Lasee is currently scheduled for a court appearance on October 14.
If convicted, she faces prison time, a heavy fine, or both.
Action 2 News is following this story and will continue to provide updates as we learn more information.
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