A Janesville woman who used sympathy for her disabled Army veteran husband to defraud an elderly couple was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of extended supervision Thursday.
Deanna R. Hatch, 48, of 717 Tudor Drive, was sentenced in Walworth County Court on a charge of theft by false representation of $5,000 to $10,000, which carries a maximum six-year sentence.
Hatch claimed in 2016 she needed money to remodel her house so she could better care for her severely disabled husband, a U.S. Army veteran. She received publicity in The Gazette, received donations and held fundraisers.
A town of Delavan couple, Robert and Lavonne Webster, loaned her $10,000 after she told them she needed that amount to supplement a Veterans Administration payment for the work on the house, according to the criminal complaint.
Hatch said she would pay the money back after she received money from fundraisers, but she didn’t, and she rarely responded to the Websters’ attempts to contact her, according to the complaint.
Hatch apparently paid back some of the money.
In court Wednesday, Judge Phillip Koss proposed that he give Hatch 30 days to come up with the rest of the money, but the victims told him they wanted Hatch sentenced immediately, according to online court records.
Koss ordered Hatch to pay back the rest of the money, consume no alcohol or drugs, and take any prescription medications within prescription limits.
Hatch lost guardianship of her husband, Francis, in December 2017 after Francis was brought to an emergency room emaciated and suffering from bed sores, according to court documents.
Two months later, Rock County Human Services requested a restraining order against a boyfriend of Hatch’s who was accused of threatening Francis and other family members and harassing Francis’ court-appointed guardian, according to court documents. A judge granted the order.
Francis Hatch’s guardian filed for divorce from Deanna on his behalf in October. Online court records indicate he is living at the Tomah VA Medical Center.