She took nearly $375,000 from Delavan-based company, complaint alleges

An initial appearance is scheduled for Oct. 17 for an Illinois woman charged with bilking nearly $375,000 from her former Delavan employer.

Cynthia R. Jensen, 55, of Kingston, Ill., was charged Sept. 25 in Walworth County Circuit Court with seven counts of identity theft for financial gain and two counts of theft in a business setting of more than $10,000, all as a party to a crime.

According to the criminal complaint, Jensen, former general manager of Southern Lakes Newspapers, Southern Lakes Publishing and Rock Valley Publishing in Delavan, made $373,973 in unauthorized transactions from the company to herself and her husband between May 2015 and early 2018.

Southern Lakes Newspapers owns and publishes 16 weekly newspapers in Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties including the Delavan Enterprise, Elkhorn Independent and Burlington Standard Press, as well as the Hi-Liter shoppers and several specialty publications.

Company owners Peter Cruger and John Cruger notified police July 13 that a Town Bank employee made them aware of fraudulent signatures on seven company checks made out to Jensen and her husband Kim Jensen between Nov. 21, 2017, and Jan. 26, 2018, according to the complaint. The checks appeared to have been signed by John Cruger, but Cruger said the signature was not his, the complaint states. Six of the checks totaling $14,235 were made out to Cynthia Jensen, and a check for $4,000 was made out to Kim Jensen, the complaint contends.

The complaint also alleges Jensen made multiple electronic fund transfers from the publishing company to her personal accounts.

Jensen made several payments to the newspaper company in an attempt to pay back what she said she considered loans, according to the complaint, however, an internal audit of the companies was conducted that showed Jensen still owes Southern Lakes Publishing $243,078 and Rock Valley Publishing $30,913, the complaint alleges.

Reached by telephone this week, John Cruger declined to comment on the charges.

      To read the entire story, pick up a copy of the Sept. 27 Delavan Enterprise or this week’s editions of other newspapers published by Southern Lakes Newspapers.


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