Police say Janesville school bookkeeper stole $300,000 over nine - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Police say Janesville school bookkeeper stole $300,000 over nine years

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JANESVILLE (WKOW)-- Between 2006 and 2015 Janesville Police say a bookkeeper embezzled more than $300,000 from the Janesville School District.

School officials say 33-year-old Jessica Warner-Reed managed the finances for 140 clubs, teams and organizations at Craig High School and was secretly moving money around by using her and her husband's checking accounts. However, police say Warner-Reed's husband had no knowledge of the embezzled money.

"There weren't those large purchases, those extravagant trips. The money simply went to, the funds went to housing, clothing, pet care, furnishings," Janesville Police Chief David Moore says.

Chief Moore says investigators found no records of gambling problems or drug addiction, but records obtained by 27 News show Warner-Reed and her husband filed for bankruptcy back in 2005, just one year before she started working for the district.

"A detective opened his conversation with Warner-Reed with a question of why are you here? Warner-Reed's one word answer was 'greed,'" Moore says.

In a prepared statement Superintendent Karen Schulte said an external audit was performed every year Warner-Reed managed the student activity fees, but no irregularities were found.

Schulte says it was a high school principal, Dr. Alison Bjoin, who first noticed the bookkeeping irregularities. She asked Warner-Reed to hand over her bookkeeping records, but Bjoin never heard back from her.

That's when Bjoin decided to notify other administrators with the district. The district's finance department conducted an internal audit in July of last year and uncovered several discrepancies.

Janesville police began their investigation last July once Warner-Reed was placed on administrative leave. She officially resigned on August 21st, but wasn't officially arrested and booked until Tuesday January 12th.

Superintendent Schulte refused to answer any followup questions from reporters, citing a request from the district attorney's office that school officials not comment until the investigation is complete. When asked about the impact this case has had on student activities, Schulte responded by saying:

"I'm sorry, I won't be answering any questions, anything further than what has been released at this time."

Police say the violations include embezzlement and misconduct in public office, as well as ten counts of forgery and six counts of tax fraud. Warner-Reed is scheduled to appear in court on January 25th.



UPDATE (WKOW) --- Janesville Police and Janesville Craig school officials say that $300,000 was stolen over 9 years from activity funds of 140 clubs and groups in the high school.

School officials say they questioned activity of the bookkeeper in the summer of 2015 and asked her to show her records.  33-year-old Jessica L. Warner-Reed did not respond to the request, according to the press conference.

The school finance department did an internal audit and contacted police to investigate criminal charges.

Warner-Reed was placed on administrative leave when police were contacted.  Warner-Reed resigned in August.

Officials say she was arrested for 1 count of embezzlement more than $10,000, 1 count of misconduct in public office, 10 counts of forgery, and 6 counts of tax fraud.

We will continue to update this story as we learn more.


JANESVILLE (WKOW) --- Janesville Police say they have arrested a Janesville Craig High School employee after an investigation into possible embezzlement.

Police say the school district contacted them in July of 2015 about a possible embezzlement.

33-year-old Jessica L. Warner-Reed of Janesville was arrested as a result of the investigation.

Officials say she was arrested for 1 count of embezzlement more than $10,000, 1 count of misconduct in public office, 10 counts of forgery, and 6 counts of tax fraud.

Police will hold a press conference Wednesday morning about the investigation.  The Janesville School District tells 27 News they have no comment on the case at this time.

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