TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A township trustee and his wife are facing federal charges of stealing more than $95,000 in taxpayer money.
Frank Mejean, 51, trustee of Jefferson Township in Sullivan County, and his wife, Antonnette Mejean, 48, who works as the township clerk and township investigator, each face three federal charges of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, over the course of four years, the couple defrauded taxpayers by overpaying their salaries and overcompensating Antonnette Mejean for a lawn maintenance contract with the township, later filing phony financial documents to the Indiana State Board of Accounts to hide their crime.
Frank and Antonnette Mejean could each face up to 60 years in prison if convicted.
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said while it's rare for public officials to face federal charges, he hopes this case catches the attention of others cheating the system.
"The message is a very powerful one to any elected or appointed official, that if you are violating the public trust, particularly when it comes to the taxpayers money, you are doing so at your own risk," he said.
Hoosiers with information on public corruption are asked to contact the U.S. Attorney's Office at 317-229-2443.