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Review underway at SWAP after embezzelement charges

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Review underway at SWAP after embezzelement charges

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UW Police say an accountant accused of stealing more than $100,000 while working for a University of Wisconsin department has paid all the money back.

Police say Sonja Dedrick of Verona was a senior accountant at the UW SWAP Shop in Verona and was the only person in charge of cash deposits. The shop sells a variety of state government property that's not needed anymore, including computers and office furniture.

UW SWAP customers buy the surplus goods with cash or check. Dedrick was fired after money she was responsible for depositing was discovered missing.

Police say Dedrick, whose home was in foreclosure earlier this year, was allegedly taking cash from SWAP and then paying them back within a month or two to avoid detection and essentially loan herself money.

"In July of this year she was no longer returning funds and was flat out stealing the funds," said UW Police Department spokesman Marc Lovicott. "She in essence was responsible for outright stealing $45,000-$46,000 from SWAP."

Officials said Dedrick is accused of taking about $144,642 in total, but has repaid all of the money that was taken.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business Services, Martha Kerner, tells WISC-TV that Dedrick's actions went unnoticed because she was paying back the money she was taking originally. SWAP is now reviewing accounting practices and Kerner says they will likely make more than one person responsible for cash deposits.

"She was a good employee and it is unfortunate that this happened," said Kerner. "We're doing everything we can to prevent it from happening in the future."

Kerner says the SWAP Shop brings in about $1.2 million a year and Dedrick was only taking a few thousand from each deposit.

Despite the fact that she's paid all the money back to the UW, police say she'll still face felony theft charges and will be in court on Jan. 2nd for an initial appearance.

WISC-TV's attempts to contact Dedrick have been unsuccessful.

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