“It was easy for her:” Woman embezzles $150,000 using best friend’s information

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MILWAUKEE -- It's a story about trust betrayed and tens of thousands of dollars stolen. But, it's an important lesson for every business owner.

Surveillance video from an ATM camera shows Sharon Conley withdrawing money from an account. The problem? It's not her account.

Surveillance footage from ATM shows Sharon Conley withdrawing money

Surveillance footage from ATM shows Sharon Conley withdrawing money

"She was a friend of mine, a good friend of mine. I've known her for years," said Susan Winslow, fraud victim.

Susan Winslow

Susan Winslow

Susan Winslow says she is still devastated by the betrayal. She and her husband gave Conley a job when she was laid off doing some accounting work for their business.

"Almost immediately started to embezzle from the business account. She would go to the bank and withdraw funds several times a day, hundreds of dollars at a time," said U.S. Postal Inspector, Michael Desrosiers.

The crime escalated quickly when Conley applied for a credit card in Susan Winslow's name.

"She knew all of the information, it was easy for her to apply for a credit card," said Desrosiers.

The credit card was approved. How did it arrive? In the mail that Conley sorted each day.

"She started to use it just for personal, everyday expenses," said Desrosiers.

Susan Winslow

Susan Winslow

But getting that credit card also led to Conley's undoing.

The credit card company called to speak to Winslow, who quickly realized she knew nothing about this credit card.

Conley had embezzled more than $150,000.

"We've all had our things in life, but we all don't steal from people. You don't need to steal from people," said Desrosiers.

Postal inspectors say a checks and balance system is key for all employers, no matter the size of your company.

"Who is checking the checker? You have to have someone who reports to that person. There has been some sort of accountability. If you don't, this is something that could be a result," said Desrosiers.

2 comments

  • Malai

    This is unfortunate..! One of the worst things a person can do is betray you and take advantage of you in the process. I definitely feel for Susan simply because I have had friends that have abused my trust financially as well. I hope she’s able to sue and win all of her money back!

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