IT thief yet to pay outstanding fine

Josh Lehner, Staff Writer

          Michael Van Vonderen

A former UW Oshkosh IT specialist who stole between $10,000 and $100,000 worth of university property received a two-year prison sentence after being found guilty of theft.

Michael Van Vonderen, who stepped down from his IT position in September 2019, sold 115 stolen items to various pawn shops, according to UW Oshkosh Police Detective Mike Bartlein.

An internal audit determined that Van Vonderen had access to nearly $29,000 worth of missing university property.

UW Oshkosh police connected the stolen property to Van Vonderen shortly after he stepped down, and he was found guilty due to a no contest plea in October 2021.

The next major development in the case occurred on April 28, 2022, when Van Vonderen appeared in court for his sentencing and restitution hearing.

He was sentenced to two years in state prison, two years of extended supervision and four years of probation.

The court imposed and stayed the prison sentence and extended supervision sentences, meaning that Van Vonderen was placed under the supervision of the Department of Corrections. If he violates the conditions of supervision and his probation is revoked, he will be required the serve the sentenced imposed by the court.

Van Vonderen owes the court roughly $12,570. He owes an approximately $2,176 forfeiture to the Winnebago County Clerk of Circuit Court in addition to $13,094 between two unnamed creditors.

None of the owed money has been paid so far.

UW Oshkosh Chief Technology Officer Victor Alatorre said that his department has made substantial changes over the last three years to prevent future cases of theft.

“We have implemented asset management policies like staffing roles and changes, door access, video security and mobile device management strategies,” he said.

The case was officially closed on August 29, 2022.

Editor’s Note: This story was corrected to include that the court imposed and stayed Van Vonderen’s sentences.