Jacqueline R. Fox, 44, has been charged with embezzling more than $1 million from the Milwaukee scrap recycling company that she worked for over the last six years. The practice might have continued indefinitely if not for the misreading of a pay envelope by an employee last summer.
Fox, who began working at United Milwaukee Scrap in 2005, authorized direct deposits in the names of seven former employees to bank accounts that she controlled for a total of $996,689. Charges indicate that she also made unauthorized payment to herself for another $12,944. When confronted by the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, Fox initially admitted only to the thefts in the name of former employee Jose Aguilera. She claimed the scheme started in 2010 when her husband kicked her and her children out of their home. Fox also told investigators that the money was primarily used to support her paralyzed mother and pay for her daughter’s school tuition.
Further investigation turned up the false payments in six other former employee’s names. Each was using a different bank account and the payments dated as far back as 2006. Investigators also found evidence that Fox made frequent large withdrawals from an automated teller machine at a local bingo casino.
Susan Paprcka, a spokeswoman for United Milwaukee Scrap, said the company would not comment on the ongoing case.
Fox faces six counts of theft by fraud over $10,000, one for each year’s worth of charged embezzlement. The maximum penalty for each count is five years in prison, five years of extended supervision, and a $25,000 fine. She made her initial court appearance on Monday, April 8th.