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Tag Archive | "embezzlement"

Township official arrested for embezzlement

Donna Mae Goodsell

A woman employed as sexton for cemeteries in two Montcalm townships has been arrested for embezzlement.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, they conducted an ongoing investigation regarding embezzlement in Day and Evergreen Townships after a complaint was filed regarding financial record inconsistencies. They concluded that the embezzlement occurred between 2012 and 2017, and led to the arrest of a 60-year-old Fenwick woman.

The investigation revealed that Donna Mae Goodsell was employed by both townships to be the sexton of their cemeteries. Goodsell’s duties included the sale of plots, maintenance, opening and closing of graves sites, and contracting for the setting of headstone footings. Goodsell allegedly did not properly forward all of the funds she received from residents to the respective Townships.

On November 30, 2017, Goodsell turned herself in to the Sheriff’s Office and was arrested on two felony warrants. Goodsell is charged with one count of embezzlement from each of the townships and is currently out on bond. The maximum sentence for each charge is 5 years in prison.

“Thankfully, there is no evidence that individual citizens were overcharged. While the township governments did not receive the payments, no individuals appear to be victims,” said Sheriff Williams.

Goodsell’s next court date is Friday, December 8, 2017.

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Former credit union manager sentenced for embezzlement


Kathryn Sue Simmerman Embezzled Almost $2 Million From Shoreline Federal Credit Union 

A Muskegon woman will serve time in prison for stealing money from a Norton Shores credit union.

According to United States Attorney Patrick Miles Jr.,  Kathryn Sue Simmerman, 55, of Muskegon, Michigan, was sentenced to 78 months (six and a half years) in federal prison Monday, January 4, for embezzling $1.9 million from her former employer, Shoreline Federal Credit Union. She was also ordered to pay $1.9 million in restitution and serve two years of court supervision following her release from prison. U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell imposed the sentence. He remanded Simmerman to prison immediately after issuing the sentence.

For more than 15 years, Simmerman embezzled $1,945,000 from Shoreline by removing cash from its vault and placing it in her purse. She deposited some of the cash into Shoreline accounts she controlled, and took the remainder of it home to spend on her own use and enjoyment. She hid her activity by manipulating Shoreline’s books and records.

The case was investigated by the Norton Shores Police Department and Special Agents from the FBI and IRS. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Stiffler.

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Commissioner Wawee resigns


N-Commissioner-charged-Michael-Wawee-webKent County Commissioner Michael Jay Wawee, 43, recently charged with two felonies, is resigning from the Kent County Board of Commissioners, effective February 28.

He was charged earlier this month with embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 from a non-profit, and false pretenses of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000. The charges stem from his work for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids selling cemetery plots, funeral services and memorial services.
Wawee released a statement saying that he needs to focus his energy on his family and proving his innocence, which means he will not be able to dedicate the time necessary to represent his constituents on the County Commission.

He represents Walker and part of Grand Rapids.

The application process for a new commissioner starts immediately.

“We, as a board, have continued to operate without a glitch,” said Board Chairman Dan Koorndyk. “It has not impacted day-to-day operations at all. We have a professional, dedicated staff in Kent County that manages the operations.”

The Board of Commissioners has 30 days from the effective date of resignation to select an individual to replace Mr. Wawee through the rest of his term. The person selected for that seat will hold it through December 2014. Those seeking the appointment to District 6 to replace Mr. Wawee should send a letter and resume to the Board of Commissioners Office, 300 Monroe Avenue, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, by March 5, 2014.


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Kent County Commissioner charged with embezzlement


N-Commissioner-charged-Michael-Wawee-webThe Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Kent County Commissioner Michael Jay Wawee, 43, with two felonies—embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 from a non-profit, and false pretenses of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000.

The charges stem from his work for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids selling cemetery plots, funeral services and memorial services.

The investigation was undertaken by the Grand Rapids Police Department, at the request of the Diocese. The case is being prosecuted by the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office to avoid any impropriety, since Wawee is a Kent County Commissioner representing Walker and part of Grand Rapids.

Wawee was arraigned on the charges on Monday, February 3, in 61st District Court in Grand Rapids. His bond was set at $10,000  (10 percent) and he bonded out Wednesday, February 5. He has a preliminary exam scheduled for February 11, at 11 a.m. The first charge is punishable by 10 years and/or $15,000, and the second is punishable by 5  years and/or $10,000.

Meanwhile, Kent County Board of Commissioners Chairman Dan Koorndyk removed Wawee as Chair of the Legislative and Human Resources Committee, and named Commissioner Shana Shroll (District 19) to the lead role. “Duties on the Legislative and Human Resources Committee are crucial to the people of Kent County,” Koorndyk noted.  “Members develop legislative priorities, study proposed legislation that could affect the county, and review county personnel policy and procedure manuals.  It requires a great deal of time and commitment, and I felt the change in leadership was necessary to assure continuity and success.”

Wawee remains a member of the Board of Commissioners.

“Commissioner Wawee has been charged with a crime, and, as due process allows, is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” Koorndyk stated.

Wawee is the second commissioner charged with a crime in the last few months. Former Commissioner Gary Rolls resigned January 1 after being charged with four counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct in November.


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