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Jesup woman arrested for theft of more than $100,000 worth of state money

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 9:24 AM CST
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JESUP, Iowa (KCRG) - A Jesup woman has been arrested after an investigation uncovered she had used state money for personal benefit for more than a year while employed by the Iowa Department of Juvenile Services.

Officials said 36-year-old Nicole Foelske turned herself in on Tuesday at the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office as warrants for her arrest had been issued.

This followed a Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office investigation regarding alleged misappropriation of money while Foelske was employed with the Iowa Department of Juvenile Services.

In total, Foelske was found to have made $107,745.46 worth of unauthorized or improper charges of state money for her own personal benefit from July 1, 2018, through October 31, 2019.

Officials said part of her job included facilitating grants and programs for the benefit of juvenile clients of the 1st Judicial District, as well as making purchases to facilitate these programs for the District. To that end, she had been issued a credit card to make authorized purchases on behalf of the State of Iowa.

However, while Foelske was on leave in September 2019, officials said they found apparent misappropriations of money due to purchases she had made, irregularities on claims she filed for financial payment through the state, and deficiencies on supporting documentation of questionable purchases made.

The State Auditor’s Office began an investigation into the finances from 2016 to 2019, in which it was learned she had made unauthorized purchases for items including food, beverages and a large number of gift cards ranging from $100 to $500 each.

The State Auditor’s Office learned she had bought gift cards at local stores using her employer’s credit card and used them to make deposits to her PayPal account.

In total, she deposited 438 gift cards for a total of $86,899, and then made deposits to her personal bank account for $84,330.65

A report from the State Auditor’s Office said the thefts and misappropriation of money occurred on a routine and consistent basis from July 1, 2018, through October 31, 2019.

Foelske also reportedly made unauthorized purchases from Amazon and had the products delivered to her home address.

She faces charges of Theft, Felonious Misconduct in Office and Ongoing Criminal Conduct.

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