INDIANAPOLIS–More than $1 million of your tax money has been stolen by the people in charge of handling it, said U.S. Atty. Josh Minkler. His office announced 15 people have been indicted from different cities around the state. Those people work in government positions or public service.
“Operation Public Accountability” partnered the State Board of Accounts with the FBI, Indiana State Police, county sheriffs, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and state and local prosecutors filing charges against local fire department officials, school employees and various municipal and county employees from around the state,” said Minkler.
“Public officials work for the people not the other way around,” he said. “When the trust we give them is shattered and public officials line their pockets with taxpayer dollars, they should expect the scrutiny of state and federal law enforcement. All citizens deserve better from their public officials and this office intends to hold them accountable.”
Minkler said the stolen money was discovered through audits.
Federal cases include:
Kellie Cline, 35, Greenwood, served as the Extra-Curricular Activity (ECA) Treasurer at Greenwood Middle School. She is alleged to have stolen approximately $50,000 from the school’s extra-curricular account.
Sami Dillon, 38, Crawfordsville, served as the Clerk-Treasurer of Cayuga, in Vermillion County and is alleged to have stolen approximately $44,000 by not depositing utility receipts.
Clint Madden, 51, Columbus, served as the Wayne Township Trustee and the Jonesville Volunteer Rural Fire Department Treasurer, in Bartholomew County. He is alleged to have misappropriated over $100,000 from the township and the fire department.
Mathew Mathis, 47, Columbus, served as the Treasurer of the Hope Volunteer Fire Department in Bartholomew County and is alleged to have stolen over $48,000 from the fire department.
Norman Burgess, 44, Danville, served as the Treasurer of the Wayne Township Fire Department in Hamilton County and is alleged to have stolen approximately $140,000 from the fire department.
State cases include:
Angela White, 44, Indianapolis, served as the ECA Treasurer for Robey Elementary School in Wayne Township, in Marion County. She is alleged to have stolen approximately $10,000 from the school. Charges are pending with the Marion County Prosecutors Office.
Rachel Bentz, 44, Portland, served as the Jay County Sheriff’s Department jail matron. She is alleged to have stolen approximately $9,000 by not depositing inmate trustee receipts. This case is pending with the Jay County Prosecutor’s Office.
Dallas Davis, 56, Russellville, served as the Clerk-Treasurer for the Town of Russellville, and is alleged to have stolen approximately $7,600 by not properly depositing utility receipts. This case is pending with the Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office.
David Buzzard, 50, Columbus, served as the trustee for the Rock Creek Township Trustee in Bartholomew County. He is alleged to have overpaid himself and his spouse approximately $27,000. This case is pending in Bartholomew County with a special prosecutor.
Jacqueline Fitzgerald, 54, and Monica Durrett, 56, worked at the Indianapolis Local Public Bond Bank and are alleged to have stolen approximately $400,000. This case is pending with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
Nicole DeMunck, 35, Michigan City, served as the AK Smith Center Treasurer in the Michigan City School System. She is alleged to have stolen approximately $13,000. This case is pending with the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office.
Nichole Lowry, 47, Kewanna, served as the Pulaski County EMS Director. She is alleged to have stolen over $12,000 in training funds. This case is pending with the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office.
Cheryl Pruitt 50, Gary, served as the former Gary Schools Superintendent, is alleged to have received a $1,256.75 “reimbursement” for funds that she never spent.
Donald G. Minnick, 64, Gosport, served as an Owen County Commissioner. He improperly sold a vehicle to the county with a loss of $7500. He was found guilty in Owen County.
“To say the least, it’s disheartening when public officials violate the public trust, which is why it is important for the public to know that the FBI, along with the State Board of Accounts and state police detectives worked together building prosecutable cases to hold these public officials accountable for their alleged criminal acts,” said State Police Superintendent Doug Carter.
PHOTO: Thinkstock/Sackhorn 38
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