A Wisconsin woman accused of embezzling thousands of dollars last year from the bank where she worked claimed she committed the crime to pay back debt to payday loan companies.

Kristen Deadwyler, 27, was formally charged by prosecutors with felony theft from U.S. Bank, according to court records and a report in the Stevens Point (Wis.) Journal. She is accused of stealing about $16,000 from the bank while working there.

Bank officials told police that an ATM machine for which she was responsible came up short by $6,000, and the bank later documented another $10,000 missing, according to the criminal complaint.

Deadwyler admitted to her employer that she had stolen the money, according to the complaint. She said she kept the money in $20 bills until she could exchange those for larger bills so she had less to carry out of the bank.

Deadwyler told detectives that she took the money in order to pay back debt incurred from a payday lending operation. She said she took out the loans in January and February of last year and could not afford the payments, the complaint said.

If convicted, Deadwyler could face up to 10 years in prison and as much as $25,000 in fines. Deadwyler is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Feb. 24.

 

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