Eau Claire woman pleads to fraud chargesAn Eau Claire woman will spend three years on probation for stealing a debit card and four checks from a man who police say gave her about $20,000 over a two-year period to help her family.
By: By Dan Holtz, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., Superior Telegram
An Eau Claire woman will spend three years on probation for stealing a debit card and four checks from a man who police say gave her about $20,000 over a two-year period to help her family.
Sharon D. Melgaard also must pay $1,080 in restitution.
Melgaard, 38, 1021 1/2 Barland St., pleaded no contest Tuesday in Eau Claire County Court to a misdemeanor count of fraudulent use of a financial transaction card, three misdemeanor counts of bail jumping and an unrelated felony count of fourth drunken driving offense within five years.
Melgaard was fined $600, sentenced to six months in jail and had her driver's license revoked for three years.
As conditions of probation, Judge William Gabler ordered Melgaard to undergo an alcohol and other drug assessment and have no contact with the victim.
Melgaard cannot drink alcohol, enter taverns or possess other people's checks or personal information.
According to two criminal complaints:
The Eau Claire man told police he met Melgaard while she worked at an Eau Claire restaurant. He said he felt sorry for the woman and her children and gave them several thousand dollars to help them.
On one occasion in 2010, Melgaard and her children went to the man's residence to use his shower because the water in their house had been turned off.
On Nov. 8, 2010, Melgaard was allowed to use the man's bank debit card to withdraw $40 from his account. Two days later the man said he noticed the debit card was missing. He discovered four unauthorized charges were made on his account Nov. 9, 2010, at area businesses. Video surveillance from two of the businesses showed Melgaard using the debit card.
On Nov. 14, 2010, the man said several checks from his account had been stolen and written out to Melgaard. Six months later Melgaard used the man's checks or check card without his permission.
Melgaard told police she received about $20,000 from the man over a two-year period and he has helped her family anytime she needed assistance.
Melgaard admitted using the debit card and filling out the checks by signing the man's name, but said she had permission to do so.
Holtz can be reached at 715-833-9207, 800-236-7077 or email@example.com.
(c)2012 the Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.)
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