Facing charges that she allegedly bilked a New Berlin, Wisconsin landscape company, 37-year-old former secretary Robbin R. Hoeppner was charged with one count of theft of more than $2,500, and 15 counts of identity theft for financial gain. She allegedly stole $4,000 from AAA Landscaping, and if convicted, she faces up to 93½ years in prison and $160,000 in fines.
Hired as a secretary in 2009, she had been on the job for less than a year when the quality of her work began to deteriorate. At some point, she asked the owner if she could take checks to the bank and bills to the post office, but after several months the owner noticed that some bills were not getting mailed. Hoeppner said she must have forgotten to mail them. The owner soon discovered that she was cashing checks meant to pay some bills, and keeping the cash for herself.
Since her work ethic wasn’t good, the owner decided to hire another person in 2010 to help take care of some of the work. Hoeppner knew that the new employee would find the missing money soon, so she started cashing more checks from the business for herself. In all, she cashed 15 checks, for a total of $3,967.
In July 2010, she called the victim’s cell phone; he had already reported the crime, and put the call on speaker so investigators could listen in. She said she would pay the victim back, but was able to get only $210 at that time. Hoeppner said she took the money because she was behind on car payments, and had a brain tumor.
In November 2010, officers called Hoeppner, who said she was living near West Virginia and had left Wisconsin. She said she would be coming home for Thanksgiving, but alluded to the fact she may never come back, depending on the case. When confronted about the embezzlement, she said there had been a mix-up with a check while working at AAA Landscaping, and the other suspicious checks were reimbursements she had received from the company.
A warrant has been issued for her arrest.