Janesville36.8°

Man faces $1 million in fines, restitution for embezzlement

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
November 3, 2009
— A Janesville man could be forced to pay more than $1 million in fines and restitution when sentenced for embezzling from the insurance company where he worked.

Douglas A. Nickerson, 45, is charged in federal court with misappropriating nearly $800,000 from General Casualty Insurance in Sun Prairie. Nickerson pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of misappropriation.


He faces up to 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and $823,000 in restitution when he is sentenced Feb. 16, according to court documents.


Nickerson worked as a property program manager for General Casualty Insurance in Sun Prairie. His duties included overseeing large property claims and handling many of the largest property claims covered by General Casualty, an insurer of cars, homes and businesses in 25 states throughout the country.


Nickerson had check-writing privileges up to $500,000. He is accused of writing about $800,000 in checks from General Casualty to three other parties. The check recipients cashed the checks and kept some. Nickerson retained approximately $564,000 of the misappropriated funds, according to court documents.


The first batch of checks totaling about $550,000 was written between June 2003 and September 2006, and about $325,000 ended up in Nickerson's pocket, according to court documents. The second batch totaling about $273,000 was written between January 2007 and July 2008, and Nickerson kept $239,000, according to documents.


Also charged in connection with the crime was David A. Janssen, a general contractor with Heartland Associates involved in the check-cashing scheme. Janssen kept about $34,000 of the misappropriated funds, according to court documents.


Nickerson told a federal judge Janssen didn't know the checks were for an illegitimate purpose, court documents show. Charges against Janssen were dropped. He instead will plead guilty to violating federal tax laws for failing to disclose tax information regarding the money obtained from Nickerson, according to court documents.



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