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A woman was charged with felony theft after she received someone else’s tax refund in her bank account and refused to return the cash.

Tatum Pulera, 19, of Kenosha, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with a felony count of theft-moveable property. If convicted, Pulera faces up to six years in prison and/or fined up to $10,000.

According to the criminal complaint, a Caledonia resident filed a complaint with the police department after she filed a relative’s tax return and accidentally entered the wrong bank account number. The IRS deposited the relative’s $5,140 refund to that Educator’s Credit Union account, which Pulera owned.

But when staff at the Credit Union asked for the cash back, Pulera had already spent the money and the account had a zero balance. An investigator with the Caledonia Police Department called Pulera three times, but she never returned the call.

When the officer called Pulera’s mother, she told the investigator that she knew about what had happened, refused to give the investigator information about the whereabouts of her daughter and said: “Getting the money was the government’s mistake and not a crime.”

At an initial appearance held Thursday, Pulera was released on a $5,000 signature bond.

A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Sept. 27 in Racine County Felony Court.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.