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Indictment says two former employees embezzled at least $800,000 from Silverwood Theme Park

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 20, 2019

Riders raise their hands on the Tremors roller coaster at the Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho, on June 15, 2017. A grand jury has indicted two former Silverwood employees accused of embezzling at least $800,000 from the park. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Riders raise their hands on the Tremors roller coaster at the Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho, on June 15, 2017. A grand jury has indicted two former Silverwood employees accused of embezzling at least $800,000 from the park. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

A grand jury has indicted two former employees accused of embezzling at least $800,000 from the Silverwood Theme Park in Athol.

Silverwood’s former chief financial officer, Christopher A. Wyatt, 43, and former accounting manager, Melissa K. Foeller, 44, each face five counts of grand theft.

The indictments filed Wednesday in Kootenai County District Court list charges for money stolen between 2014 and 2017. But bail memos accuse the pair of stealing over the course of nearly a decade.

“The nature of the charges is egregious,” the memos state.

Foeller “is thought to have embezzled well over $500,000 from Silverwood in her position as payroll accountant since 2008,” the records state. Prosecutors believe Wyatt embezzled nearly $300,000 during the same period.

Prosecutors requested $50,000 bonds for both suspects. Foeller was arrested Thursday evening at her home in Post Falls and remained in jail Friday evening. Wyatt was booked on grand theft charges Friday, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office’s press log.

Records detailing the grand jury’s investigation remained under seal Friday, so it was not clear how the theme park hemorrhaged so much money over so many years, or how the alleged embezzlement was finally discovered.

Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said he could not discuss the case because of the sealing order.

A spokesman for Silverwood, Jordan Carter, said he could not comment on matters involving current or former employees.

Foeller has no prior criminal record. Her LinkedIn.com page says she left Silverwood in October 2017.

Wyatt has two relatively minor convictions from 2016 – one for having illegal fireworks in Post Falls and one for reckless driving in Rathdrum.

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