MILWAUKEE – Investigators say a Milwaukee County employee and a tow truck driver stole tens of thousands of dollars over two years in a scheme including forgeries, money laundering and more, and it’s all tied to vehicle liens.
According to prosecutors, the two-part scheme allowed Michael Morgan, 37, and Daneen Pope, 47, to benefit illegally. Pope, a Child Support Services employee, would create fake Satisfaction of Lien Forms. Morgan would pay her and then take the vehicle and turn it into cash – money that should’ve been in the hands of families receiving child support.
At a scrapyard on Milwaukee’s north side, metal quickly turned into cash for Morgan, a tow truck owner, but investigators say every penny he made didn’t belong to him.
A 16-page criminal complaint filed Wednesday, May 25 details how prosecutors believe Morgan, with Pope’s help, embezzled money from hundreds of Milwaukee families owed child support.
Michael Morgan, Daneen Pope
From September 2019 to September 2021, investigators say the pair under a bridge near the Milwaukee County Courthouse on 9th Street for an exchange. Morgan would text Pope the VIN number, make and model and lien holder’s name for a certain vehicle. He’d pay Pope, a Milwaukee County Child Support Services employee responsible for processing lien release payments, between $25 and $50 to forge a lien release form for the vehicle.
In return, Morgan would get the vehicle lien-free to sell, junk or salvage.
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The complaint says police believe Pope made at least $15,0000 and estimates Morgan made between $37,000 and $43,000.
Milwaukee County Child Support Services
Pope told investigators she knew what she did was wrong but did so to “supplement her paychecks,” which she claimed were not enough for her.
She faces one charge of misconduct in public office, while Morgan, who’s in jail, faces six charges including racketeering, embezzlement and bribing a public official.