Janesville38°

Guilty plea entered in theft

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Gazette staff
February 18, 2012
— A former loan officer accused of using the names of friends, family and customers to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans pleaded guilty to related charges in Rock County court on Friday.

Laura A. Powers, 51, of 4438 Parkwood Drive, Janesville, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of more than $10,000 in a business setting and four counts of identity theft.


Six other counts of identity theft were dismissed but read into the record for purposes of restitution.


The maximum prison term on the first count is 10 years. Powers faces up to six years on each of the other counts.


Powers’ attorney, Jack Hoag, indicated the district attorney’s office had offered a plea agreement, but Powers opted instead for a court-ordered pre-sentencing report.


A pre-sentencing report will tell the judge about Powers’ background and include input from the victims and a recommendation from the state Department of Corrections, Hoag said.


Powers was accused of using her position as a loan officer at Parker Community Credit Union in Janesville to take out between $700,000 and $800,000 in loans, according to court documents.


A criminal complaint issued last August said Powers used the money to buy boats, ATVs, jewelry, property and other items.


Powers was fired from her job in April 2011. She is free on a $5,500 signature bond.


Sentencing was set for May 2, but Hoag said it would likely be rescheduled for later.


Judge Kenneth Forbeck is assigned to the case.



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