ELKHORN

A Janesville woman faces a charge of felony theft after a town of Delavan couple complained she did not repay a $10,000 loan that was intended to help her disabled veteran husband.

Deanna R. Hatch, 47, of 717 Tudor Drive, Janesville, was charged in Walworth County Court last week with theft by false representation of an amount between $5,000 and $10,000.

As The Gazette reported in March, Robert and Lavonne Webster, town of Delavan, loaned Hatch $10,000 in 2016.

Hatch told the couple she needed $10,000 to add to a Veterans Administration grant so she could renovate her home to better care for her husband, Francis Hatch.

Francis, a 50-year-old former Army paratrooper, suffers from physical and mental disabilities that keep him mostly confined to bed. Francis’ situation was detailed in a 2016 Gazette article that got the Websters interested in helping, according to the criminal complaint.

The Websters said they took the money from a fund they had set aside for their grandchildren, and Hatch promised to return the money after she received proceeds from fundraisers held to help Francis, according to the complaint.

After they gave her the money, she would not return their calls and did not return the money, the Websters said.

A town of Delavan police detective contacted Hatch last July, and she told him she felt bad, but she had to use the money for unexpected expenses, including the death of her mother, according to the complaint.

Hatch told the detective she would make a $1,000 payment to the Websters by Aug. 1, and later she told him she sent a payment on Aug. 4, but the Websters received no payment, according to the complaint.

The detective talked to a Veterans Administration official who told him Hatch had begun the grant process but never completed it.

The detective examined Hatch’s bank records and found two deposits totaling $8,300 to her checking account and later a withdrawal of $2,787.

Hatch’s initial appearance in the case is set for Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Walworth County Judicial Center.

The maximum sentence for the crime is six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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