Milwaukee City Employees Steal Thousands, Go Gambling

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Mar 28, 2024

Two former Milwaukee government employees have pleaded guilty to embezzling money from the city.

The two workers stole over $100,000 and proceeded to spend a vast portion of the money gambling at the Potawatomi Casino Hotel.

Milwaukee Employees Hatch Plan to Steal from City

Kyle Hepp and Kelly Whitmore-Behling both previously worked for Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works.

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Their job involved selling vehicles and equipment no longer needed by the department, with the proceeds going back to the city. However, the pair had other intentions.

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Employees Begin Selling Vehicles to Friends

According to WISN News, in the summer of 2022 until September of the same year, the pair began selling the city’s unwanted vehicles to family and friends.

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A man in sunglasses is pictured handing over the keys to a vehicle

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According to court documents, the employees offloaded the vehicles for “far less than fair market value.”

Moving the Vehicles at the Weekend

The pair removed several loads of equipment, and vehicles would be moved at the weekend to avoid suspicion.

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A third accomplice was involved in the scheme, yet it hasn’t been mentioned in the court documents.

Milwaukee Employees Forge Numerous Bills of Sales

Kyle and Kelly accepted cash payments for the vehicles, yet on “numerous” occasions, they only returned a portion of the money to the city.

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A man dressed in a blue shirt and glasses looks over a bill of sale

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The pair began forging several bills of sale documents to cover their tracks and split the remainder of the cash between themselves.

Employees Steal Around $100,000

According to court documents, Milwaukee city records suggest they received around $35,000 from the sale of vehicles sold under the scheme.

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However, interviews and records of the buyers indicate that Kyle and Kelly received payments of over $136,000, suggesting the pair made off with over $100,000.

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Embezzlement Scheme Brought to Light

A few months after the scheme began in 2022, the pair were accused of embezzling from the city and placed on discharge.

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During the ongoing investigation, Kelly and Kyle resigned from the Milwaukee Department of Employee Relations in December 2022.

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Former Employees Charged with Embelzing from the City

After a thorough investigation, both employees were charged with embezzling over $100,000 from the city of Milwaukee in March of this year.

A man is pictured sitting at a poker table as he counts his chips

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Fox 6 reports that the pair gambled a significant portion of the money at the Potawatomi Casino Hotel.

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Milwaukee Employees Plead Guilty

The case was filed on March 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

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Kyle and Kelly pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them, which included theft from a federally funded program and conspiracy to commit theft from a federally funded program.

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Former Employees Opt for Plea Agreement

A plea agreement first reported by Urban Milwaukee reveals the pair are subject to various stipulations.

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Kyle and Kelly have agreed to pay the city over $357,000 in restitution.

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Possible Sentencing for the Former Employees

While no reports have mentioned a date for sentencing, the pair could end up with a jail term.

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The maximum penalty for their crimes could be a 10-year prison sentence and an additional five years on the second charge. They may also be fined up to $250,000.

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DPW Spokesperson Shares a Statement

A spokesperson for Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works claims the city is committed to preventing theft from the city.

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“We continue to work vigilantly to prevent theft and protect taxpayer dollars,” they said, per Fox 6.

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