- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

DALE, Wis. (AP) - An Appleton accountant stole more than $1 million from her employer, a local farming equipment company, to pay for her online shopping addiction, Outagamie County prosecutors said.

Jenissa Carlson, 37, has been charged with six felony counts of theft in a business setting and four counts of forgery. She faces up to 84 years in prison if convicted of all 10 charges.

Carlson purchased items from stores like Coach, Pandora and Macy’s, and then refused to tell her husband how she could afford the daily package deliveries, Post-Crescent Media (http://post.cr/1owTzhv ) reported.

Police began investigating last March after James Sommer, president of Service Motor Co., discovered missing payments to a German vendor. Sommer and other employees told police they discovered more than 200 checks had been misused since 2006 to pay off Carlson’s credit card balances. Sommer said his initials were forged on at least 40 of the checks.

Carlson sent an apology letter and $6,000 cashier’s check to Sommer several days later, according to a criminal complaint. In an interview with police a month later, Carlson told them she began misusing the checks after returning from maternity leave. She said she was worried about getting caught, but “it continued to spiral, and she did not know how to get out,” the complaint said.

Following a subpoena of Carlson’s financial records, police determined she had used 254 checks totaling more than $1.1 million since 2006 to pay off credit card balances.

Carlson was released from jail on a $50,000 bond after her initial court appearance in May, and was ordered not to use or possess any credit cards. Carlson pleaded not guilty in July.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday with an attorney listed in court documents. Carlson’s trial is set to begin on Oct. 21.

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Information from: Post-Crescent Media, http://www.postcrescent.com

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