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Scales of Justice

RACINE — A Racine woman, indicted by a federal grand jury earlier this month for reportedly embezzling more than $775,000 from her now-deceased father’s Racine law firm, likely has a gambling problem, according to documents filed after her arraignment Wednesday.

During Kathleen A. Fetek’s arraignment on Wednesday, she pleaded not guilty to the charge of mail fraud.

Documents state that evidence in the case against Fetek includes thousands of pages of law firm records bank accounts, as well as records from Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee.

The document goes on to point out that Fetek “has recorded extensive losses at the casino.”

According to Fetek’s order for release, she is prohibited from visiting any gambling establishments or participating in online gambling.

Alleged embezzlement

Fetek is charged with mail fraud after reportedly defrauding “individuals, charitable organizations and other beneficiaries of estates being administered by her father’s law firm,” according to the indictment.

Fetek worked for her attorney father, James Fetek, from 2012 until his death in 2016. By 2014, the indictment alleges Fetek had created a system in which she would divert money belonging to beneficiaries and estates represented by Fetek Law Office and keep it for herself.

Fetek would reportedly write checks to herself from the firm’s account, signing her mother’s name. She then cashed the checks at various locations, such as banks and liquor stores.

Fetek would then allegedly prepare and mail “materially false distribution summaries and estate account documentation” to beneficiaries. These false documents were then filed in probate court.

After her father’s death, Fetek reportedly provided the firm’s records to a new attorney, providing the checks she cashed for herself that were altered to look as if they were written to beneficiaries. An FBI investigation uncovered Fetek’s plot.

November jury trial set

If convicted, Fetek faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, according to the Eastern District of Wisconsin’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. She would also face up to three years supervision after her release and be forced to pay the victims of the crime restitution.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 5 at the Milwaukee Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Ave.

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Alyssa Mauk covers breaking news and courts. She enjoys spending time with her family, video games, heavy metal music, watching YouTube videos, comic books and movies.

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