Waukesha - A Waterford man is accused of embezzling about $1.46 million from Waukesha Memorial Hospital while he was employed there.
Over a five-year period, Jeffrey A. Checker, 52, submitted invoices to the hospital from a painting company owned by his wife, Lisa, for work that the company purportedly did, according to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.
But the hospital determined that the company, Wall 2 Wall, never did any work at the hospital. Most of the work supposedly done by the company was performed by hospital employees and not by any contractor, the complaint says.
Checker was charged Wednesday with six counts of theft-movable property. Each count carries a maximum prison term of five years followed by five years of extended supervision.
The thefts occurred between Feb. 17, 2006, and April 25, 2011, during which time more than 460 fake invoices were submitted to the hospital, the complaint states.
The thefts were discovered in 2011 after management had been changed in the hospital's painting department and the new manager found "an exorbitant" number of invoices for Wall 2 Wall, the complaint states.
An internal investigation followed, and it determined that no one had ever seen Checker doing painting work outside his normally scheduled hours and no security pass or badge had ever been issued to Lisa Checker for work at the hospital, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Jeffrey Checker, who earned about $44,000 a year at the hospital, admitted to submitting the invoices and depositing checks made out to Wall 2 Wall in his and his wife's bank account.
He told authorities that he had bills to pay, including house and car payments, and was having financial difficulty, which led to him filing for bankruptcy, the complaint says.
Jeffrey Checker said the two used money from the hospital to pay themselves and for rent on storage facilities.
While investigating him, authorities learned that Checker owned at least 15 vehicles, many with no liens attached. Among them were six 2011 vehicles - only two with liens - a Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, a Chevy Silverado truck, a Dodge Ram 2500 truck, a Harley-Davidson XL1200 motorcycle and a Volkswagen Jetta.
Checker told investigators that he knew what he did "wasn't right, and I want to make it right with the hospital."
"I would guess that I owe them $100,000 and I could turn in my pension, my 401(k), money in my bank account and my Harley to help pay them back," he initially told authorities, the complaint says.
When showed checks totaling more than $1.4 million were deposited into his account, the complaint says Checker told authorities, "So I guess I probably owe them more. Again, I take full responsibility and want to do what is right."