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Popenhagen Reaches Plea Agreement

A decade-long Oneida county embezzlement case is nearing a conclusion.

41 year old Michelle Popenhagen of Arbor Vitae entered into a plea agreement Tuesday.. She pled no contest to three counts of misdemeanor theft from her former employer, Save More Foods of Minocqua as presented by Assistant Attorney General Michael Schaefer...

"...three counts of misdemeanor theft by employee, commonly known as embezzlement. Those offenses have offense dates of 2003 and 2004 as well..."

As part of the lengthy plea agreement, Popenhagen will drop a statute of limitations defense. Defense attorney Steve Lucarelli says Popenhagen agreed with the plea agreement..

"....attached to that is a plea agreement with the state of Wisconsin which also sets forth in detail the parties understanding. (Popenhagen) has no problem with the state amending the(complaint) as Mr. Schaefer said he would..."

The original complaint, filed in 2004, charged Popenhagen with two felony counts of theft and two counts of making fraudulent writings. The case eventually reached the state Supreme Court where a portion of the evidence against her was not allowed. The Supreme Court said Minocqua Police did not properly conduct a search but left the window open to refile the case. New charges were filed in 2010.

Popenhagen was alleged to have taken $30,000 from Save More, where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Substitute Judge Patrick Madden accepted the plea agreement and found Popenhagen guilty of the three misdemeanor charges. She will be sentenced in late July. She faces a maximum of nine months in the county jail and $10,000 fines on each count.

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