A Wheeler woman accused of stealing more than $40,000 from a veteran’s savings account has been charged in Chippewa County Court.
Nola M. Tyrrell, 50, has been charged with one count of theft of between $10,000 and $100,000, and six counts of identity theft for financial gain. Tyrrell will return to court Aug. 11.
According to the criminal complaint, an employee at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls, 2175 E. Park Ave., called police June 9 to report several fraudulent transactions, with money taken from a resident who had been living there since 2014.
A debit card had been applied for in the man’s name, but he didn’t recall applying for a card or receiving it. An audit of his savings account determined there was $40,516 in fraudulent transactions that had occurred between July 2019 and May 2020.
Police learned that the debit card was used at an area Walmart on March 31, and officers were able to obtain four photographs and video surveillance of that transaction, which showed a woman withdrawing money.
The officers shared the pictures at the Wisconsin Veterans Home, and five workers there identified the woman as Tyrrell, who had worked at the home from July 2019 through April 27.
Tyrrell again withdrew money from the account at a Walmart on April 19, and officers also obtained footage of that transaction.
Officers interviewed Tyrrell at her new job, which also was a nursing home.
She initially denied the person in the picture was her. She later claimed she had permission from the veteran to spend some of his money to make purchases for the man’s son. However, she later admitted she took the money “because it was easy for me to do it,” the criminal complaint states.
Tyrrell admitted to the cash withdrawals at bank ATMs but was surprised when officers told her that she had taken more than $40,000 during the past year. She was arrested and taken to the Chippewa County Jail.
Tyrrell appeared in court June 29 and was released on a signature bond.