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FORMER WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO FELONY THEFT BY FRAUD OF FUNDS FROM VETERAN ORGANIZATION

 

MADISON - Former public information officer for the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, Waupaca County resident Richard C. Calcut, 52, has plead guilty to a charge of felony theft by fraud. Charges were filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice in March.

 

The Hon. Mitchell Metropulos, an Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge, sitting for the Waupaca County Circuit Court, accepted Calcut's plea on Monday, May 19, 2008. Judge Metropulos ordered a presentence investigation and tentatively scheduled the matter for sentencing on August 7, 2008 at 1:30 in Waupaca County.

 

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 exceeded $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.

 

Calcut faces a maximum possible penalty of a fine not to exceed $25,000, or imprisonment not to exceed 10 years, or both.

 

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.