Church secretary gets probation for embezzlement

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Gazette staff
Friday, October 18, 2013

JANESVILLE—A former secretary pleaded guilty this week to embezzling nearly $90,000 from a Janesville church and was sentenced to two years of probation, her attorney said.

Carrie A. Kolanda, 30, of 9020 S. Nelson Road, Brodhead, forged 70 checks for herself from First Congregational Church of Christ between January and October of 2012 adding up to $88,329, authorities said.

Prosecutors charged her in June with felony theft of more than $10,000 in a business setting, as well as felony forgery.

At a hearing on Thursday, Kolanda pleaded guilty to the felony theft count and no contest to two misdemeanor theft charges, attorney Philip J. Brehm said.

Judge Richard Werner sentenced her to two years of probation for the two misdemeanors, while holding open the felony count, Brehm said.

If Kolanda completes her probation successfully, the felony could be dismissed, Brehm said. If she doesn't, Kolanda still could be sentenced on the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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