A former corrections officer at the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department has been charged with five counts of felony theft through false representation and one count of attempted theft.
Tamara L. Moe, 33, Scandinavia, is accused of telling her co-workers, friends and family that she had cancer. They gave her and helped her raise tens of thousands of dollars for medical treatments that investigators have been unable to verify actually occurred.
According to the criminal complaint, Marion Police Officer Erik Krause investigated the accusations against Moe in 2010.
Although the charges are a result of money that Moe received from an Iola man, the criminal complaint included Krause’s interviews with Moe’s familiy and co-workers, who had been unaware that Moe may have been lying to them about her cancer treatments for years.
One of Moe’s former co-workers at the sheriff’s department reported that she gave Moe $1,000 from her checking account and took out a $3,600 cash advance on her credit card to help with Moe’s medical expenses in 2005.
Moe allegedly asked another co-worker to co-sign a loan.
A deputy, who dated Moe for about three years, told Krause that she had been diagnosed with cancer. He said he contributed more than $4,000 toward her medical expenses.
Moe left the sheriff’s department in February 2007.
In July 2008, a golf outing and concert raised more than $22,000 to benefit Moe and help pay her medical expenses.
Also in July 2008, Moe sent a letter to an Iola man, asking for help with the costs of her cancer treatment. The man sent Moe a check for $5,000.
In March 2009, Moe met with the Iola man and told him about a new cancer treatment that her insurance did not cover. The man gave Moe $10,000 and made out another check for $11,000 to Moe’s aunt.
Moe’s aunt told Krause that she had believed Moe had cancer and was going to die. The aunt said she and other relatives gave Moe thousands of dollars and helped organize the benefit and raise funds toward her alleged cancer treatments.
The aunt also said she had offered to accompany Moe to her medical appointments but Moe always declined.
In August 2009, the Iola man gave Moe a $6,000 donation toward the Waupaca County Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT), a coalition of law enforcement and social service agencies that work to raise public awareness about domestic violence.
At the time, Moe was working with CAP Services as an advocate for victims of domestic violence.
CCRT reported never receiving the money.
On Sept. 2, 2009, the Iola man received a call from a woman claiming to be “Debra Smith Van Patten.”
The woman, later identified as Moe, asked the man to help her pay for her 16-month-old daughter’s treatment at St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis. The man mailed a $5,000 check to a post office box in Scandinavia.
On Sept. 11, 2009, the Iola man’s bank called and informed him that Moe had attempted to cash the check made out to Van Patten.
On Sept. 14, several emails were sent to the Iola man from “Debra Smith Van Patten,” asking that the money be transferred to a friend who plans to come to Memphis.
One of the emails was signed Tammy rather than Debra.
When Krause interviewed Moe, she reportedly said she developed cancer as a result of her heroin addiction.
She said she went to a clinic in Chicago and received five treatments for $2,500 each, according to the criminal complaint.
She told Krause she used one of her aliases, Debra Smith or Debra Smith Van Patten, because she did not want the sheriff’s department to find out about her heroin addiction.
Krause was unable to find evidence that Moe had undergone treatment for cancer in Chicago.
In as written statement to police, Moe said she had been addicted to drugs for more than four years.
During that time, Moe said she turned to gambling and sex to cover the cost of her drugs, according to the criminal complaint.
There are currently four pending felony cases against Moe in Waupaca County.
She was charged with identity theft, mail fraud and credit card fraud in September 2011.
Moe allegedly opened a credit card account using her neighbor’s name, birth date and Social Security number, running up $7,400 in debt, most of it at casinos.
In March 2012, Moe was charged with burglary and theft and accused of stealing $3,200 in cash and coins from a woman who lived across the street from her.
Moe told investigators she could not remember being inside the other woman’s home, but she had been addicted to gambling and under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol at the time of the incident.
Earlier this month, Moe was charged with felony theft and felony bail jumping.
According to the criminal complaint, Moe posted a 10 oz. gold bar and a gold coin for sale on eBay in July.
A New York coin dealer told Detective Sgt. Rob Karski, with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department, that he had agreed to purchase the gold coin for $2,753.
He did not receive the coin and did not send payment. He told Karski that Moe clled him repeatedly trying to convince him to send the money.
Karski spoke with a man in Alexandria, Va., who said he sent Moe $15,750 but never received the gold bar he purchased on eBay.
On Oct. 10, deputies took Moe into custody on a Dane County warrant.
During the ride to the Waupaca County jail, Moe told Detctive Sgt. Carl Artz that she got the idea to use eBay, because some friends told her she would never get caught, according to the criminal complaint.
Moe currently faces criminal charges in Dane, Portage and Winnebago counties.