Former Madison daycare director sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for wire fraud

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MADISON, Wis. — A former Madison daycare director who pleaded guilty to defrauding her employer was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison Monday.

Nichole Genz, 41, of Evansville was also ordered to pay over $216,000 in restitution. Genz worked as the executive director of Learning Gardens, a Madison daycare center, from September 3, 2013, to October 2, 2018, when she was fired.

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Madison police said that Genz and a now-deceased accounting manager from Learning Gardens’ parent company, Park Towne Development Corporation, worked together to embezzle money. Genz and the manager allegedly diverted tuition checks into a petty cash account, cashed altered checks by diverting them to a petty cash account, created false bank statements to hide the check diversions, and used company credit and debit cards for personal expenses

During a seven-hour sentencing hearing, Judge James D. Peterson said that, while the accounting manager was the primary embezzler, Genz was aware of the crime and helped cover it up.