Former city finance director pleads guilty to embezzling over $100K

The former finance director of South Haven has pleaded guilty to embezzling over $100,000 from the city, according to the Michigan State Police.

In November 2018, South Haven Police contacted Michigan State Police regarding financial irregularities associated with Wendy Hochstedler, the city's finance director, reports said.

City personnel noted a suspicious purchase on her assigned city credit card and a forensic audit was conducted.

The audit revealed five credit cards assigned to former city employees were kept open and used by Hochstedler and a member of her household, Daniel Beck, to make over $130,000 in purchases, reports said.

The purchases of fast food, pet supplies, vehicle repairs, building materials, jewelry and other household items, began in July 2015 and continued until she was suspended in November 2018, reports said.

Hochstedler was fired from the city in late November 2018.

In July 2020, Hochstedler pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement $100,000 or more and Beck pleaded guilty to one count of illegal possession of a financial transaction device.

Both are scheduled to be sentenced on September 21.

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