Palmyra woman accused of not paying taxes on embezzled money

Amanda Meade, 41, is accused of stealing money from a Belleville Senior Center.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 1:09 PM CST
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BELLEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) – A Palmyra woman who used to run a Dane Co. senior center faces new charges stemming from allegations that she embezzled money from the facility. Amanda Meade was charged this week with not paying income taxes on the money she is accused of stealing.

The Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue accused Meade, 41, of underreporting her income between 2015 and 2020 by more than $117,000. That would mean she skipped out on paying a little more than $8,000 in state income taxes, the agency estimates. As a result, Meade was charged with eight felony counts of income tax fraud. If convicted, she faces up to 36 years in prison.

Those charges are on top of the six felonies filed against her last month by the Dane Co. District Attorney’s Office. Meade appeared in court last week to face those charges. She pleaded not guilty and had a signature bond set of $500 per case.

Meade is accused of stealing the six-digit sum during her time in charge of the Sugar River Senior Center, in Belleville. Prosecutors pointed out, however, their number was only based on the amount they traced. For example, cash collected during fundraisers could not be accounted for.

Among the ways Meade is accused of siphoning money to pay for “a lifestyle she could not afford” included cashing extra payroll checks and using the senior center’s credit car for unauthorized purchases. According to the complaint, she used those funds on trips to Ireland, Hawaii, and Boston. She also allegedly bought items from Amazon, made mortgage payments, and picked up fast food. Prosecutors stated the mortgage payments alone totaled $22,000, and that’s on top of $18,000 used on a down payment on a vacation home.

The criminal complaint broke down, year-by-year, the amount Meade is accused of not reporting as income during the years in question. More than half the amount Meade allegedly did not include in her taxes came over the first two years, 2016 and 2017. While the largest understatement was the first year, prosecutors say she stole the most in 2017, the year she got divorced. The full breakdown:

YearAmt. UnderstatedTax Evaded

The Dept. of Revenue special agent who filed the complaint, Alan Kurth, acknowledged he has not met with Meade. However, he noted she has reportedly confessed to taking money illegally from the senior center in conversations with two Dept. of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation agents.

During her meeting with them, Meade admitted writing the extra paychecks and using funds from the senior center to pay off her mortgage, saying she believed the bank was going to foreclose on the house, Kurth’s complaint continued. He added Meade acknowledged using the senior center credit cards and debit cards for her personal expenses. None of that money, she allegedly said, was included in her state and federal tax returned.

Kurth’s complaint quoted Meade capping the interview with the DCI agents by saying, “I’m not denying I did any of it.”

The DCI investigation that included that interview resulted in the three counts each of theft of moveable property and unauthorized use of identifying information for which she was in court last week. Her initial appearance on the new charges is set for March 9, according to court records.

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