Following a recovery audit, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller recently filed a civil lawsuit against former Merrillville Town Court clerk Virlissa Crenshaw regarding the repayment of $310,325 in cash and surety bonds that she allegedly diverted.
The embezzlement occurred over a period of five years and was identified by an accounts payable audit conducted by the State Board of Accounts (SBoA). A total of 456 cases were found to have been affected. Crenshaw, who was responsible for collecting bond money posted by defendants in exchange for their release from jail, disguised the fund misappropriation by incorrectly entering court records.
"Employee theft and embezzlement is all the more serious when the person is a public servant," said Zoeller. "In this instance the claim is that a court clerk interfered with our system of justice, which also undermines the public's trust in government."
Last month, the SBoA authorized the AG's office to serve as the state's collection agent. This empowers Zoeller to recoup the money in order to reimburse the public treasury.
Conducting regular AP audits can mitigate losses by helping organizations identify embezzlement earlier.