AG Van Hollen: Iowa County woman convicted of theft

For Immediate Release
November 21, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Dana Brueck 608/266-1221

MADISON — Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that on November 18, 2011, Melanie J. Erickson, 48, of Ridgeway, Wisconsin, was convicted in Iowa County Circuit Court of the criminal charge of felony theft from her former employer, Quantum Devices, Inc. (“QDI”), of Barneveld.

Throughout a period of several years, when she acted as the chief financial offer for QDI, Erickson was able to control company records so that she obtained the highest level of health care coverage offered by the company, while only paying the premium for a much lower level of coverage. From 2000 to 2006, this amounted to a loss to the company of more than $13,000. Erickson entered a plea and was found guilty of felony theft, with numerous other charged and uncharged thefts from her employer being read into the record for sentencing and restitution purposes.

Judge James P. Czajkowski ordered that Erickson serve a year in the Iowa County Jail as a condition of a three-year term of probation. She was immediately taken to jail to serve that sentence. Erickson also was required to surrender her shares of stock in QDI to make restitution for her thefts. Because she was convicted of a felony, Erickson was required to provide a DNA sample, lost permanently her right to possess firearms, and is not allowed to vote until she is discharged from her sentence. In addition, the court ordered that Erickson complete an AODA assessment and comply with the recommendations of that assessment. Erickson also is required to perform 100 hours of community service, pay court costs, and repay the cost of providing her with a court-appointed attorney.

The Iowa County Sheriff’s Department investigated the case. Victim services were provided by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of Crime Victim Services.

The state was represented in this case by Assistant Attorney General Gary A. Freyberg, acting as Special Prosecutor for Iowa County.