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Wisconsin County Jail Administrator Charged with Stealing Jail Funds

The administrator of the jail in Washburn County, Wisconsin was charged in November 2010 in connection with a scheme to defraud public funds. Bruk L. Sweeney, 37, was arrested on four counts of misconduct in office and two counts of forgery. The alleged scheme involved Sweeney issuing refund checks to newly-released prisoners for more money than they were due, then persuading them to cash the checks and give him the difference.

One of the prisoners approached by Sweeney, Bryce McKinley, said he received two checks, one for $175.30 and the other for $420. Sweeney then allegedly told him “a glitch occurred in the accounting system,” and demanded that McKinley cash the checks and give him the proceeds of the $420 check. A bank official noticed McKinley video recording the transaction and notified authorities, leading to an investigation that revealed Sweeney had improperly issued other checks.

For example, a $460 check was cut to a released prisoner identified as “R.F.” According to R.F., Sweeney told him to meet at the bank and cash the check. Sweeney then kept $400 and gave $60 to R.F. Another former prisoner, “S.N.,” received a $500 check from Sweeney, who drove him to the bank. After cashing the check, S.N. received $100 and Sweeney pocketed the balance.

Following his arrest, Sweeney was released on a $4,000 signature bond; he is on administrative leave from the Sheriff’s office.

Sources: Leader-Telegram,

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