EAU CLAIRE — The administrator of a charity, police say, deposited some donations into her personal account.
Shauna M. Hanson, 50, E15775 Lincoln Drive, Fall Creek, was charged recently in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of theft by false representation.
Hanson is scheduled to make her initial court appearance on Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint:
An Eau Claire police detective received an anonymous letter Jan. 8 pertaining to the charitable organization, Helping Hands for Our Children, which was founded by Hanson.
The letter said Hanson was using the charity for her and her friends’ personal gain.
The letter indicated Helping Hands’ Facebook page was private and donations were being provided to Hanson’s friends, and not everybody.
A second person told police Hanson helps children but that the assistance is selective.
The person said Hanson does not provide any proof or receipts for the donations and that she only allows certain people to be helped by the money.
Oftentimes, the person said, the same children are repeatedly helped while other children remain in need.
The person said Hanson was taking in charitable donations through her personal PayPal account.
Other people also contacted the detective, indicating they believed some or all of their donations were going into Hanson’s personal bank account.
During the course of the investigation, the detective determined various charitable deposits were going into Hanson’s personal account.
The detective determined that from June 2017 to last May, Hanson had deposited about $63,000 of charitable funds into her personal account with nothing to support that this money was exclusively used for Helping Hands purposes.
Hanson continued soliciting donations to and depositing money into her personal account after opening two accounts dedicated to Helping Hands.
The detective determined Hanson transferred some money from the Helping Hands accounts into her personal account during the same time frame that she was already having charitable donations deposited into her personal account.
The detective tried numerous times to schedule a meeting with Hanson, but she kept cancelling or rescheduling appointments.
The detective contacted Hanson Sept. 11 to tell her she was being ordered into court.
Hanson asked why she was being charged. The detective told her she was depositing charitable funds into her personal account for years.
“No, I have not,” Hanson said.