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Former Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Charged With Theft of Funds From Veteran Organizations


MADISON - Former public information officer for the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, Waupaca County resident Richard C. Calcut, 52, has been charged with felony theft by fraud. Charges were filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Attorney General Van Hollen announced.


The criminal complaint alleges that Calcut served as a public information officer for the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, in Waupaca County. As part of his duties, Calcut served as a volunteer coordinator. In this capacity, he was the liaison with the King Recreation Committee, Inc., a nonprofit entity created and funded by several different veterans' organizations to support the Home's mission. According to the complaint, Calcut requested Committee members to sign blank checks, authorizing him to complete the payee name and amount as various expenses arose. Originally, Calcut directed funds to a Lincoln Lodge account, affiliated with the American Veterans (AMVETS) organization and then withdrew the money from that account for his own use. Later, he cashed the Committee's checks, retaining the proceeds for his own use. The complaint alleges that the total losses are approximately $250,000.


According to the allegations in the complaint, Calcut was placed on administrative leave from his job with the Department of Veterans Affairs on or about October 22, 2007. The Wisconsin Veterans Home at King is one of two nursing care and retirement facilities for veterans and their spouses operated by the state Department of Veterans Affairs.


The allegations in the complaint and described above have not been proven in a court of law. The defendant is presumed innocent, and the state bears the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


If convicted of felony theft by fraud, Calcut faces a maximum possible penalty of a fine not to exceed $25,000, or imprisonment not to exceed 10 years, or both.


This matter is currently scheduled for an initial appearance in the Waupaca County Circuit Court before the Hon. Philip Kirk on March 25, 2008 at 1:30 p.m.


The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation conducted the criminal investigation into this matter with the full cooperation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Assistant Attorney General Donald Latorraca will represent the state as a special prosecutor for Waupaca County.