Former Casper Wrestling Club Treasurer Admits Theft
The former treasurer of the Casper Wrestling Club admitted Friday that she used club money to cover a number of her own personal expenses.
Wanda Sue Atkinson, 54, pleaded guilty before District Judge Thomas Sullins to a single count of felony theft. Under state law, the crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
A plea agreement between prosecutors and Atkinson calls for her to receive first-time offender treatment, meaning that she would serve a term of supervised probation but a conviction would not be entered in the case.
Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen told Sullins that Atkinson would also be required to pay $1,711.01 in restitution. The probationary term would run for one to five years.
Casper police began investigating the case in April after Atkinson was voted out of her position as treasurer. Two club representatives then went to the police, saying Atkinson had not allowed anyone else to review club finances.
An examination of banking records showed over $1,000 in cash withdrawals from the club account, as well as a number of debit card purchases that evidently had nothing to do with club business.
Those purchases reportedly included payments to restaurants, a woman's beauty boutique in Colorado, a plastic surgeon in Utah and a veterinary supply bill.
In reviewing expenditures that had been questioned by club representatives, a detective noted that Atkinson provided "plausible and reasonable" explanations or receipts that indicated the item purchased did, in fact, benefit the wrestling club.
When questioned about a credit card payment and a doctor's visit payment on the club account, Atkinson allegedly acknowledged that those were her personal expenses.
She told the detective that she had surgery and had been heavily medicated when she first made the payments to the doctor's office and the credit card. Atkinson she hadn't reimbursed the club, but would be happy to do so after the account was unfrozen.
Atkinson was free on a personal recognizance bond at the time of Friday's hearing. She will be allowed to travel to Nebraska and Colorado two of her sons' rodeo events.
She will be sentenced at a later date.