By Shereen Siewert

The 64-year-old former manager of a downtown Wausau apartment complex who stole more than $180,000 from the business to fund his drug habit will spend two years in prison, after he was sentenced this week.

Mark R. Meurette, of Wausau, was convicted Friday in Marathon County Circuit Court on a single felony charge of theft in a business setting greater than $100,000. The charge was filed in February 2020.

Mark Meurette booking photo

An investigation began in November 2019 when an owner of the Landmark Corporation, which owns the Landmark Apartments at 221 Scott St., contacted police regarding discrepancies in Meurette’s financial reports.

When Meurette was confronted with the discrepancies, he allegedly admitted stealing about $15,000 in rent money, blaming the thefts on a drug habit. But an accountant later estimated the thefts at a much higher amount: about $160,000, court documents show.

In addition to stealing cash rent money, Meurette allegedly falsified his work records and was paid about $17,675 for hours he never worked, court records state. Investigators compared his stated hours with security camera footage to confirm the thefts, police said.

However, further investigation revealed Meurette stole more than $176,000 by taking rent money and falsifying his work hours. The total loss to the business, including accounting fees, is estimated at more than $181,000, an amount Meurette will be required to repay.

At sentencing, Circuit Judge Suzanne O’Neill also ordered Meurette to spend five years on extended supervision following his release from prison.