Ex-bank employee accused of embezzlement pleads not guilty
Park City Credit Union reported over $12,000 taken
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A 24-year-old town of Monico woman accused of stealing more than $12,000 when she worked at the Park City Credit Union’s Minocqua branch pleaded not guilty Friday in Oneida County Circuit Court.
Tabitha A. Kovac, who remains free on a $5,000 signature bond, also waived her right to a preliminary hearing before Judge Patrick F. O’Melia. Kovac, whose bond conditions prohibit her from entering the Park City Credit Union premises, is scheduled back in court May 16 for a pretrial conference.
Kovac faces a felony charge of theft in a business setting of more than $10,000. If convicted, she could face a maximum possible penalty of five years of initial confinement in prison, followed by five years of extended supervision, and/or a $25,000 fine.
The court complaint against Kovac lists the time period of the alleged theft between Oct. 11, 2016, and Jan. 2, 2017.
According to a report from the Minocqua Police Department, 15 different transactions were discovered in which Kovac allegedly used her position as a loan processor at the bank to write money orders and a corporate check for personal gain with the total amount of those transactions coming to $12,174.91.
The police report further states those funds went to an account at the Ripco Credit Union in which Kovac was the account holder. After Park City Credit Union’s president contacted Ripco Credit Union’s president regarding those transactions, the account had $3,200 remaining in it and Ripco froze the account related to the allegedly embezzled money.
Kovac is also accused of having made nine automatic withdrawal transactions from various Park City Credit Union customers to pay for some of her bills. Those transactions were either returned to the customers as unauthorized transactions or refunded by Kovac, according to the police report.
Kovac allegedly stated to the bank’s chief financial officer that she stole from there because she was having a “rough patch” and had not been embezzling money from the bank for very long. The police report states Kovac was escorted from the Park City Credit Union building after being interviewed by the chief operating officer and a subsequent search of her desk found receipts for the allegedly fraudulent transactions.
After Kovac was arrested Jan. 20 by the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department and transported to the jail, she allegedly stated to the Minocqua Police officer who interviewed her that she had been printing “quite a few” checks to herself off the bank’s account without permission.
According to the police report, Kovac also reviewed a list a checks she was accused of writing to herself and found it to be accurate. She allegedly further stated when asked about why she stole the money that she had no idea why and was “stupid” for doing so.
A statement released by the Park City Credit Union about the alleged theft notes an employee of its Minocqua branch office was charged for theft of credit union funds, which had been “discovered during a routine audit at the credit union and was quickly addressed to ensure the loss to the organization was minimized.”
“Upon discovery of the situation, the employee was dismissed,” the statement said. “A full internal investigation was completed and concluded with no losses incurred by members.”