UW accountant suspected of $144K theft pleads not guilty

Former SWAP Shop employee took funds to pay personal bills, complaint says

A former accountant accused of stealing more than $144,000 from a university department pleaded not guilty Thursday. 

Sonja Dedrick, 43, of Verona, was in court for an initial appearance on a felony charge of theft of more than $10,000 in a business setting. The judge set Dedrick’s bond at $500. 

According to the complaint, Dedrick was responsible for depositing money from UW Surplus with a Purpose, or SWAP, shop sales at the bank. Dedrick told UW police she took cash from the deposits to pay personal bills from October 2012 through Sept. 19, 2013. After taking the cash, she hid the bags containing checks and coins in her desk and at home, the complaint alleged. Dedrick said she would return the money after about 45 to 60 days and deposit the bags.

Police said the total amount Dedrick took was $144,642.52, but some funds were later replaced. The complaint said of the former figure, $23,485.39 was never deposited and not recovered in a search of Dedrick’s home or desk. 

Police said Dedrick has paid all of the missing money back to the UW.

The Verona-based SWAP Shop sells surplus government equipment like desks and computers.

Dedrick will be in court again on Feb. 3 for a status conference at 1:30 p.m.