Former UW-Madison employee accused of embezzling $114K

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 12: A University of Wisconsin logo on the side of the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin on October 12, 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

MADISON — A former University of Wisconsin-Madison employee has been charged with stealing nearly $114,000 from the school.

Kevin O’Donnell, 54, faces 12 felony and two misdemeanor charges accusing him of stealing the money while working as a purchasing manager for the Division of University Housing, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Prosecutors allege that O’Donnell stole the money from July 2014 through February 2017, funneling it through fake companies, cashing fraudulent checks and spending it on personal purchases. He was fired in March 2017 after the alleged theft was discovered.

“O’Donnell expressed regret over the above criminal activity and stated he is sorry for this, and it was wrong to make the fraudulent transactions,” investigators contend in the criminal complaint. “O’Donnell stated he stole the money to pay bills, pay the mortgage on his house and was going (through) a difficult divorce during this time frame.”

O’Donnell had been out of jail on a signature bond. A pretrial hearing was held Friday.