Money used for medical expenses, complaint says


When medical bills started to pile up for Waukesha resident Andrew La Voi, he allegedly began siphoning money out of the bank accounts he oversaw as treasurer for the Waukesha Optimist Club.

La Voi always planned to repay the money -- about $56,000; thus far, he has returned about $10,000, according to a criminal complaint filed Nov. 17 in Waukesha County Circuit Court accusing him of felony theft in a business setting of more than $10,000.

He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Dec. 5.

According to the complaint, La Voi, 70, was serving as the treasurer for the Optimist Club, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping Waukesha youth, when he began taking money from the organization in 2008.

He told police that mounting medical expenses for a variety of health issues around that time led to him being "short of cash." That's when the thefts began, the complaint said.

La Voi said in the complaint that he took "a majority" of the money in 2015.

The missing funds came to light after another local business, Geiger Awards, contacted Optimist Club President Cathleen Brisk about not receiving payment from the club for various services rendered, according to the complaint.

The complaint said Brisk reached out to La Voi about the payment discrepancy twice, and asked to review the company checkbook, which La Voi failed to provide, before checking the club's bank accounts herself.

What she discovered, according to the complaint, was that La Voi had all but emptied two of the club's accounts, often issuing checks to his business, Great Day Financial and Insurance Services, and himself for "no legitimate reason."

The complaint alleges that La Voi admitted to taking the money "for personal reasons" after Brisk examined the accounts. The complaint said he met with police late last month to discuss the thefts.

If convicted, La Voi could face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

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