Feb. 6-EAU CLAIRE - An Altoona woman stole nearly $65,000 from her son's bank accounts, police say.
Diane Pederson-Cloud, 54, 1527 Spooner Ave., was charged Monday in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of theft in a business setting.
Pederson-Cloud is scheduled to make her initial court appearance on Monday, Feb. 13.
According to the criminal complaint:
A woman, who is the guardian for Pederson-Cloud's son, contacted police in March 2022 after reviewing his bank statements from his accounts at Westconsin Credit Union.
The woman said the man in February 2021 received a deposit of about $65,000 from Ho-Chunk Nation. But by May 2021, the woman said, the man's accounts were depleted to about $700.
During that time frame of February to May in 2021, the woman said, the man was at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison and would have been unable to spend this money.
After further reviewing the man's accounts, the woman found various charges at various places throughout central and northwestern Wisconsin. Many of the transfers were made at ATMs, taverns and casinos, and by wire transfer.
The woman believed the transactions were completed by Pederson-Cloud, who is the man's mother and power of attorney.
The woman works for Meraki Guardianship. She was appointed to be the guardian of the man and his estate in July 2021 because of the man's incompetency.
After an examination of the man's bank accounts, an Eau Claire police detective learned the man was the primary account holder and Pederson-Cloud was the joint owner. As power of attorney, Pederson-Cloud agreed to act in good faith and in the best interests of her son.
The detective discovered that from Feb. 20 through March 13 in 2021, $3,240 in transactions from the man's accounts were made at casinos in Turtle Lake, Baraboo and Black River Falls.
Between Feb. 19 and March 22 in 2021, $3,953 in transactions were conducted at hotels or motels in Eau Claire, Altoona, Turtle Lake, Baraboo, Black River Falls, Portage and Wisconsin Dells.
From Feb. 17 to March 19 in 2021, there were six large "share withdrawals" totaling $31,645.
Between Feb. 19 to March 23 in 2021, there were $14,334 in ATM cash withdrawals.
There was also a wire transfer from Pederson-Cloud to a man in Portage for $3,000 on Feb. 21, 2021.
Pederson-Cloud bought a car for $3,900 from a Baraboo car dealer on March 17, 2021. Pederson-Cloud had since sold the vehicle.
If convicted, Pederson-Cloud could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.