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Oconomowoc woman charged with theft after allegedly being overpaid $10,000

What would seem like a dream to most employees counting down the years to retirement has become a nightmare for Oconomowoc resident Lynda G. Johnson.

Johnson, formerly an employee at Stein Garden Center in the City of Oconomowoc, was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with felony theft on March 13 after failing to report that she was paid more than 10 times her hourly wage by the company.

According to the criminal complaint, Johnson, 47, was allegedly paid $88.25 an hour, instead of the agreed upon rate of $8.25 an hour, during her six weeks of employment. The company told police she was employed from late April to late May of last year. Altogether, she allegedly received $10,000 more than what she should have been paid by the company.

An attorney for Stein Garden Center said in the complaint that Johnson quit abruptly on May 14, providing no warning to the company that she was leaving.

The company discovered the payment error in June and allegedly tried to contact Johnson both by phone and certified mail, but received no reply. The company’s attorney said in the complaint that he was eventually able to make contact with Johnson, but she said she knew nothing about the money.

A Waukesha County Sheriff’s detective spoke with Johnson. She allegedly told him that she thought the money had come from her aunt and she had already spent it on a new roof for her home. She said she had no intention of repaying any of it.

It was the company’s mistake, not hers, she allegedly told the detective.

If convicted, Johnson could face up to six years in prison, $10,000 in fines, or both.

Her next expected court date is March 25.

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