A $10,000 cash bond was set Monday afternoon in the case of a 49-year-old Minocqua man accused of stealing approximately $100,000 from his former employer. 
Brian E. Ripp is facing one count of theft in a business setting ($10,000-$100,000), according to a criminal complaint filed March 6. The Class G felony carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
According to the complaint, an investigation began in early 2023 after representatives of Lakeland Rental Management discovered irregularities concerning the company’s security deposit trust account.
The owner of the company told investigators she hired Ripp in 2020 and his duties included basic property management, including showing vacant units to prospective tenants, filling out leases, collecting rent and security deposits. He was fired last month.
An audit of the rental management software used by the company showed over 100 entries had been entered and then deleted, the complaint states.
The owner of the company alleges that Ripp would enter the information in the system when a tenant would pay a pet fee or prorated rent, give the tenant a receipt, delete the entry from the software and keep the money.
In one instance, the complaint alleges Ripp took $20,000 that was anonymously donated to the residents of the Coach House Apartments following a fire in late January.
According to the complaint, Ripp “talked (the anonymous person) into a large amount of money, stating many people needed help.” Ripp asked the person to make the check out to his own personal account and advised he would distribute the funds to the tenants that he knew were in need of help. There’s no record any of the funds were ever applied to any of the tenants’ accounts, according to the complaint.
The complaint further alleges that Ripp contacted the owner of the company and admitted to taking money. He advised that he wanted to pay the money back and would show the owner what he did so the company’s books could be corrected, the complaint states.
Ripp made his initial appearance in Oneida County Circuit Court Monday afternoon at which time his attorney, Maggie Hogan, requested a preliminary hearing.
Oneida County district attorney Mike Schiek requested the $10,000 cash bond “based up on the aggravated nature of the offense.”
“There is an estimated amount, at this point, of approximately $100,000. So we’re talking about a significant amount of money,”?the district attorney said.
Schiek also told the court that Ripp has a criminal history — including keeping a place of prostitution, theft in a business setting, uttering forged writing and credit card theft — under a different name.
As for the new case, Schiek stressed that there are other victims in addition to the rental management company.
“There are a number of tenants who have been victimized as well,”?he said. 
Hogan requested a lower cash bond or signature bond, noting the defendant has ties to the community and there is no indication that he will not be present for future court appearances.
Bloom followed the state’s recommendation, noting that the “the requested bond, while significant, is not inappropriate in context of all these various factors.”
A preliminary hearing in this case is set for Wednesday, March 27 at 2 p.m.
Heather Schaefer may be reached at [email protected]