Mother accused of stealing from Boy Scout troop sentenced

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee County judge sentenced 48-year-old Kathleen Potega to three years probation on Tuesday, October 8th after she pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal.

Prosecutors say Potega stole nearly $10,000 from a Milwaukee Boy Scout troop. But she's only going to have to pay about $2,000 of that back -- which the judge said is quite a bargain.

Potega was arrested in May. She was charged with embezzling money from the Boy Scouts and lying to a bank. Prosecutors say she spent the money the scouts had earned doing fundraisers at places like Walmart and Buffalo Wild Wings -- even splurging on a new laser gun.

On Tuesday, Potega pleaded guilty to fraud against a financial institution -- and was given three years probation.

"It speaks to the defendant's character -- and sort of scary sort of thing when you are lying to this bank and you know, all along that you're lying but that didn't stop her," a prosecutor said.

Potega insists she was simply reimbursing herself for money she previously spend on the troop.

Detectives say she stuck to her story for more than three hours when she was initially arrested. She didn't cop to the theft until police showed her pictures of herself making at least 18 unauthorized ATM withdrawals. Receipts showed she spent the money on items like tampons -- unlikely expenditures for a male Boy Scout troop.

Potega hardly spoke in court on Tuesday.

The judge called this case a disturbing one -- and questioned why her husband, the troop's leader, wasn't also investigating for the crime. He was arrested in August for allegedly threatening to kill two of the detectives involved in the case.

Potega has to pay the scouts about $2,000 in restitution -- that's not all the money she stole. But a lot of the parents were willing to let it slide -- just so they can put this whole thing behind them. She was also ordered not to have any contact with Troop 213.

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