Real estate agent allegedly embezzled $775,000 from father’s law firm

Kathleen Fetek charged in federal court

A Racine real estate agent faces one count of mail fraud after she allegedly embezzled more than $775,000 from her father’s law firm.

Prosecutors indicted Kathleen Fetek on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin, alleging she sent a false estate account form to the beneficiary of an estate administered by her father’s law firm, Fetek Law Offices S.C.

According to the indictment, Fetek began working at the firm in 2012 after previously serving as a real estate agent when selling properties owned by estates the firm administered.

In 2014, she allegedly began defrauding beneficiaries of the estates by writing checks to herself from the firm’s accounts. Fetek would forge her mother’s signature on the checks before cashing them at banks, liquor stores and other locations, the indictment alleges.

Fetek allegedly wrongfully obtained more than $775,000 through the scheme.

She allegedly concealed the scheme by preparing false distribution summaries and estate account documentation and filing false documents in probate court. Following her father’s death in 2016, Fetek delivered the firm’s records to a new attorney, but concealed the scheme by providing altered copies of checks that appeared to be written to beneficiaries when they were actually made out to her.

An arraignment and plea hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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