An Oak Creek woman has been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison and three years of extended supervision after she embezzled $644,831 from her former employer, later falsifying her income on her tax returns to avoid paying thousands of dollars in taxes, according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
58, has also been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $42,816 to the Department of Revenue.
A criminal complaint in the case states Nissen was the part-time secretary for Advance Landscape Center in Milwaukee and was the only person who had access to the company’s ledger, aside from the owner.
From approximately 2015 until 2018, Nissen created fictitious payments to other businesses. She printed checks in her name and recorded false entries regarding who the checks were payable to in the business ledger. Nissen printed off these checks at Advance Landscape Center, located at 5970 S. Howell Ave. During that time, she fraudulently wrote over $600,000 worth of checks to herself and deposited them into her personal account.
The complaint states Nissen embezzled $67,805 in 2015, $163,345 in 2016 and $413,679 in 2017. An investigation by a DOR special agent later revealed that Nissen also failed to accurately report her income while filing her Wisconsin taxes.
“In reviewing Nissen’s 2015 and 2018 tax returns, (the Department of Revenue) determined that Nissen failed to report the embezzled income on her tax returns filed for tax years 2015 or 2016,” according to the complaint.
Based on Nissen’s 2015 filings, she would have been owed a refund of $826. However, the return was not processed due to “suspicious activity.” Based on her 2018 filings, Nissen owed an additional $2,362 in tax liabilities which she never paid. If Nissen had reported the additional income on her tax returns for 2015 and 2018, the complaint states she would have owed over $44,465 in additional taxes.
“Nissen understated her income with the intent to evade payment of income taxes based on the magnitude of the income understatement, her desire to avoid detection of her embezzlement scheme, her experience handling Advance Landscape Center’s bookkeeping and financial matters, and her execution of a scheme that required falsifying bookkeeping entries,” reads the complaint.
The 4.5-year prison sentence Nissen received is the maximum term.