Pewaukee man pleads guilty to wire fraud, accused of embezzling from former employer

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PEWAUKEE — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that 56-year-old Brad Volkmann of Pewaukee has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Madison to a wire fraud charge based on his former employment at Spectrum Brands.

At the plea hearing, Volkmann admitted the following facts:

During the period January 2005 to January 2014, Volkmann worked as a sales representative for Spectrum Brands, Inc., a global and diversified consumer products company based in Madison, Wis., as well as a smaller company purchased by Spectrum Brands—Applica Consumer Products, Inc. During that time, Volkmann devised a scheme to defraud Spectrum and Applica by embezzling from a fund that was supposed to be used to pay legitimate business expenses that promoted efforts to sell their products.

Volkmann also caused Spectrum Brands to over-pay the amounts of money that went into the fund by e-mailing inflated invoices to Spectrum Brands. Volkmann diverted monies from the fund by causing checks to be mailed to his residence. He caused the checks to be made payable to third parties, making it falsely appear as if the checks were for legitimate business expenses.

After receiving checks, Volkmann used them to pay vendors and service providers for items and services obtained for his own personal benefit, including payments for lawn services, limousine services, vacations, airline tickets, groceries, gas, and clothing. Over the period of the scheme, Volkmann converted at least $250,000 to his personal use.

U.S. District Judge William M. Conley scheduled sentencing for January 26th. Volkmann faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

The charge against Volkmann was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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