State seeking $75k in embezzled funds from clerk

WABASH, Ind. - The Indiana Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit Thursday against a former Wabash County deputy clerk to recover more than $75,000 in public funds, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.

Sara Chamberlain is accused of misappropriating taxpayer money before she was terminated.

The Wabash County Prosecutor’s Office filed criminal charges in February for three counts of theft, one count of official misconduct and one count of corrupt business influence.

A jury trial is scheduled for July 15.           

A recent State Board of Accounts audit found Chamberlain caused cash shortages through a variety of methods including failing to deposit cash payments received, substituting checks for cash, voiding payments and adjusting payments to disguise the shortages in the records.

A 2012 Call 6 Investigation found two-thirds of public officials accused of misusing tax dollars never face criminal charges .

The Attorney General’s office is seeking a civil judgment against Chamberlain and can pursue collections actions such as freezing bank accounts.

“When a government employee in the court system is accused of repeatedly misappropriating the public funds placed in her care, it is a brazen violation of the public trust.  My office will work diligently through this lawsuit to hold this individual accountable, recover the funds lost and reimburse the public treasury,” Zoeller said. 

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