Former Belleville senior center director charged with embezzlement

The former director of the Sugar River Senior Center in Belleville was charged Friday with multiple counts of theft for using the center’s bank and credit card accounts to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a report from the Wisconsin State Journal.

Amanda M. Meade, 41, of Palmyra, was fired from the center, which serves the village of Belleville and the towns of Montrose and Exeter, in June 2021 after officials began to suspect she had used center funds for personal use.

An investigation by Belleville police and the state Division of Criminal Investigation found that from 2015 to 2021 — nearly her entire tenure as director — Meade stole $136,575 from senior center accounts, including more than $62,000 in extra paychecks she wrote to herself from 2015 to 2018. She used the center’s accounts and credit cards to pay for vacations, make mortgage payments to stave off foreclosure and vehicle payments to keep her minivan from being repossessed, and clothing, shoes, and internet and cell phone service, according to the criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

Meade is scheduled to next appear in court on Feb. 16. She is charged with two counts of theft over $10,000, one count of theft in a business setting over $10,000, and three counts of unauthorized use of an entity’s identifying information. The theft charges each carry maximum sentences of 10 years of combined prison and extended supervision, while the remaining counts each carry up to six years.