Former Illinois association executive director officially charged with five felonies involving forgery, theft

Thursday, January 6, 2011

WEST ALLIS, Wis.—Former Illinois Electronic Security Association executive director Marsha Kopan on Dec. 29 was officially charged by the Wisconsin District Attorney’s office with three class G felony counts of theft in an amount greater than $10,000 and two class H felony counts of forgery. The charges revolve around her third-party management of three associations, including the IESA.

Kopan declined to comment on the charges.

Kopan has been the focus of an ongoing criminal investigation that began when the West Allis Police arrested her on Sept. 24. Kopan was charged with forgery and fraudulent check writing by a trustee. Detective Jeff Nohelty of the West Allis Criminal Investigation Department told Security Systems News he completed examining all seized evidence, and on Dec. 6 brought possible charges to Assistant DA Kurt Bentley.

“The criminal complaints have been signed,” Nohelty said, noting that the next step is a pretrial court appearance for Kopan. “She’ll be sent a letter telling her she needs to appear in intake court where she’ll put in a plea. She’ll either retain her own lawyer or apply for a public defender at that time.”

Kopan’s initial court appearance at intake court is set for today, Jan. 6.

Following Kopan’s arrest, Emergency 24 public relations manager Kevin Lehan took over executive director duties for the IESA. He said the association’s business is on track.

“We’ve got 2011 dues rolling in. We’re paying bills and moving forward,” he said.

According to Nohelty, his investigation found that funds totaling $403,000 had been embezzled from the three associations, around $30,000 of which came from the IESA.

Nohelty said Kopan cooperated with authorities during the entire investigation.