MILWAUKEE — Michael Geiger, 50, was found guilty Monday, March 5 by a jury on one count of theft/embezzlement, greater than $10,000, as party to a crime. He’s the former director of the Tripoli Shriners, now convicted of bilking the organization out of more than $200,000.
He’ll be sentenced on March 26 and faces up to 10 years in prison.
Charges were dismissed against his co-defendant, Reider Hoff.
According to the criminal complaint, Geiger, the center’s former director, “conducted numerous unauthorized bank transactions for his personal gain.” The complaint indicates he stole more than $200,000 during a two-year period between 2009-2010. The money that was embezzled was intended to go to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.
When Geiger appeared in court for his initial appearance, his attorney, Bradley Bloch blamed the organization’s bylaws for the allegations, and said Geiger behaved in a manner similar to previous leaders of the organization.
“I think that he followed what was done by potentates for probably nearly 20 years or longer, so safe to say that if he’s guilty of embezzlement, we’ve had a series of — I think that they’d be arresting all sorts of people,” Bloch said.
The Shriners said they put a different protocol in place — to prevent something like this from happening again.