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Arbor Vitae Woman Charged With Embezzling From Former Minocqua Employer


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that the Department of Justice, acting as special prosecutor for Oneida County, filed a criminal complaint today in Oneida County Circuit Court against Michelle R. Popenhagen, 38, of Arbor Vitae.  The complaint charges Popenhagen with two counts of felony theft from her former employer, Save More Food Markets, Inc., of Minocqua, and two counts of fraudulent writings, also felonies.


According to the complaint, Popenhagen was employed by Save More as a head cashier until June 2004.  Her duties included replenishing the store-owned automated teller machine ("ATM").  Popenhagen was supposed to retrieve cash from the store's safe, record the amount in an accounting journal, place the funds into the ATM and then enter the amount placed into the ATM's keypad.  The complaint alleges that, beginning in July 2003 and continuing through mid-June 2004, Popenhagen periodically kept some of the funds removed from the safe instead of depositing them into the ATM.  Investigators determined that Popenhagen embezzled a total of $28,500, according to the complaint.


The complaint also alleges that, in January 2004 and again in April 2004, Popenhagen committed the crime of fraudulent writings when, as head cashier, she made an entry in Save More's quarterly inventory reports that purported to reflect the actual cash balance in the ATM at the time of the entry but which she knew was false.


A criminal complaint is a legal document that alleges violations of Wisconsins criminal laws.  The defendant is presumed innocent of all charges until she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial.


Popenhagen is scheduled to make her initial appearance before the Honorable Mark A. Mangerson on May 3, 2010 at 1:30 p.m..


Assistant Attorney General Michael G. Schaefer represents the state in this prosecution.  The investigation was conducted jointly by the Minocqua Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation.


A copy of the criminal complaint is available at:

2010 file: