Former UW Madison employee accused of embezzling funds - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Former UW Madison employee accused of embezzling funds

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- Police say a former UW-Madison employee embezzled more than $144,000 over a year. They say 42-year-old Sonja Dedrick confessed to the crime and has paid all of the money back.

"It's a unique case because in most embezzlement cases, an individual doesn't return the money, and in this case, the suspect was returning the money after a few months," UW-Madison Police Spokesman Marc Lovicott says.

Authorities say Dedrick was working as a senior accountant at UW SWAP, a store where the school can sell items they no longer need to the public.

Lovicott says about $98,000 of the money the suspect took was paid back before anyone noticed. But he says she stopped returning the money in July and employees noticed roughly $45,000 was missing in September and contacted police.

"Once we got involved, the larger audit took place of all the SWAP funds," Lovicott says.

Police say Dedrick told them she used the money to pay her family's bills. Court records show she's faced foreclosure on her home. A friend tells 27 News the mother of two has worked more than one job in the past, is kind and has a good heart.

"It's unfortunate in situations like this where you realize an individual, a family, is struggling, but stealing is stealing," Lovicott says.

UW-Madison officials sent us a statement about what happens that says, "While the SWAP program had enough checks and balances in place to eventually discover that funds were missing, the University is thoroughly reviewing the accounting procedures at SWAP in order to prevent theft in the first place."

The Dane County DA's office says Dedrick is scheduled to appear in court on January 2.

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MADISON (WKOW) --- A former UW Madison employee was charged with felony theft for stealing funds from UW SWAP, Surplus With A Purpose.

42-year-old Sonja Dedrick of Verona was charged for embezzling $144,642 from the UW SWAP.

In late September the investigation began after employees noticed approximately $45,000 missing from accounts.

After months of investigating, UW Madison Police found a larger amount had been stolen.

Dedrick admitted to police she took the money to pay her bills.

All of the money has been recovered.

Accounting practices at SWAP are now being reviewed.

Reporter Danielle Lama will have more on this investigation tonight on 27 News at 5 & 6.

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