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Payroll clerk charged with theft

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GLENDALE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A former payroll specialist at a southeast Wisconsin health care system has been arrested for stealing over a-million-dollars in an elaborate payroll scheme. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare said it uncovered a system in which a 49-year-old woman manipulated payroll accounts of hundreds of employees. Glendale Police arrested the woman last night.

Officers continue to investigate. They have not recommended possible charges to prosecutors yet. Officials said Wheaton Franciscan lost the money, but there might be a tax impact on almost 850 present and former workers who had their payroll accounts manipulated. The health system said it notified those people this week, and it fired the suspect.

Anne Ballentine of Wheaton Franciscan said the scheme began in 2004 and ran for nine years. About $850,000 was stolen directly from the health care system. Extra taxes were paid on that money, bringing the total loss to $1.1-million.

Officials said the former payroll specialist added false hours to random co-workers, put those wages into her bank account, and then deleted the work records.

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