Velguth pleads not guilty to felony theft by fraud charge
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — 51-year-old Beryl Velguth of Wales pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, October 9th to a felony charge of theft by fraud in a Milwaukee County court.
Velguth is a former employee of Lutheran Social Services who’s accused of embezzling $92,000.
Velguth worked as a Risk Manager at LSS until spring 2013. She is accused of billing multiple law firms for the same case and having checks mailed to her home address. In November 2012, an audit ordered by managers at Lutheran Social Services uncovered the fraudulent billing.
According to prosecutors, Howard Law and Legal Services was one of the firms listed. There is no existing address or phone number for the firm, and it is not listed on the Wisconsin Bar Association website. Checks being mailed to Howard Law, however, were allegedly going to an address in Wales, Wisconsin — which is also where Velguth resides.
Authorities believe Velguth made up the law firm, billed them, then cashed the checks. LSS records show this occurred on eight different occasions between October 2012 and April 2013.
If convicted on the theft by fraud charge, Velguth faces up to ten years on prison and $25,000 in fines.