05/21/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/21/2019 16:39
MADISON, WIS. - Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Stephanie Czuprynko, 54, Lake Delton, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty today to a public corruption charge in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin.
Czuprynko admitted that while acting as the bookkeeper for the Lake Delton Fire Department Commission and the Dells-Delton Emergency Medical Services Commission, she embezzled monies from the checking accounts of these two commissions. The amount of the embezzlement, which occurred between 2016 and November 2018, is over $358,000.
The federal investigation into this matter began in November 2018 when the Federal Bureau of Investigation received a referral from the Lake Delton Police Department after they had noted irregularities in the checking accounts of the two commissions. When confronted with the irregularities, Czuprynko admitted the embezzlement, and provided a spreadsheet detailing the embezzlements by date and amount. Czuprynko told law enforcement she stole the money because she had a gambling problem. After obtaining a search warrant for her office, FBI agents found gambling records from Ho-Chunk casino, as well as two unauthorized signature stamps, which she used to sign the embezzlement checks.
'My office is committed to prosecuting any public official who abuses their position for personal enrichment,' said U.S. Attorney Blader. 'This type of case represents the worst in deception and fraud because it involves a betrayal of the public trust.'
'Public corruption remains a top priority for the FBI,' said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Hughes. 'We investigate embezzlement violations from major cities to rural communities. Those who misuse their position and violate the public's trust for personal gain will be brought to face justice.'
U.S. District Judge William M. Conley scheduled sentencing for August 8, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. Czuprynko faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The charge against her is the result of an investigation by the FBI and Lake Delton Police Department. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Graber.