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Waukesha County attorney to be sentenced Tuesday

A Hartland lawyer charged with taking thousands of dollars from his former employer is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office charged Matthew MacLean, of Hartland, in October with one count of embezzlement of more than $10,000 and one count of forgery. Both are felony charges.

The allegations stem from the years MacLean was general counsel and chief compliance officer for Red Granite Advisors and Ziegler Lotsoff Capital Management, which rented space from MacLean’s former employer, Michael Best & Friedrich.

MacLean was found to have diverted thousands from the companies, some of it meant to pay Michael Best. Much of the money was channeled to a limited liability company, BrickStix, which he had opened for his son.

The law firm reported him to the Office of Lawyer Regulation. Red Granite filed a complaint in 2014 with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office.

The Wisconsin Supreme court suspended MacLean’s license in 2016 for two years. However, according to the criminal complaint, an investigation by the Milwaukee DA’s office uncovered that he had embezzled an additional $161,132.42 from the company and forged documents in order to do so.

MacLean initially pleaded not guilty to both charges in November. Following negotiations, though, he eventually pleaded guilty at a hearing in February to the theft charge.

The theft charge is a Class G felony, meaning MacLean can be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $25,000.

The forgery charge was dismissed and read in, meaning MacLean has admitted to it and the judge may consider it an aggravating factor. However, the read-in charge cannot result in a separate conviction or sentence.

According to court documents, MacLean is asking Judge Joseph Wall to impose probation so that MacLean can still get mental health and substance abuse treatment in the “most effective setting possible.”

MacLean is represented by Michael Hart of Kohler Hart Powell, Milwaukee. The state is represented by Assistant District Attorney Kurt Benkley.


About Erika Strebel, [email protected]

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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