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Woman charged with company embezzlement

Wadaga also village treasurer

October 12, 2012
By GARRETT NEESE and STEPHEN ANDERSON - DMG writers (gneese@mininggazette.com and sanderson@mininggazette.com) , The Daily Mining Gazette

L'ANSE - Cindy Wadaga, 45, of Baraga, was arraigned in 97th District Court in L'Anse Thursday morning. She is charged with embezzlement of $20,000 or more but less than $50,000, a 10-year felony.

Charges were brought by Wadaga's employer, Will Ross, owner of First Choice Auto Body.

Wadaga, who is also treasurer for the village of Baraga and treasurer of the Baraga Area Schools Boosters, has a preliminary hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 23.

Wadaga was released on a $5,000 10 percent bond. She was also ordered not to enter First Choice Auto Body.

According to Ross, she worked for the company as office manager and bookkeeper from June 2009 through June 2011.

"Embezzlement charges were filed on our behalf," he said.

The charges are unrelated to the village and booster club.

"That wouldn't pertain to the village of course," said Roy Kemppainen, Baraga village manager. "We always go through annual audits, so our records are definitely gone over on an annual basis and there certainly was nothing to indicate anything inappropriate took place."

Jessica Green, president of the Baraga Area Schools Boosters, was not available for comment at press time.

Baraga Area Schools is not financially connected to the booster club.

"(The boosters) operate independently of the school. We don't oversee them," said Jennifer Lynn, superintendent and grades K-2 principal. "They don't have access to any of the school district's funds. There is no carryover between them. ... We recognize the organization but there's no financial overlap."

Even if there was a financial connection, Lynn emphasized "it's an arraignment, not a conviction. I'm sure due process is in order here."

 
 

 

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