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Published: Wednesday, 8/22/2012

Ex-clerk pleads guilty to theft

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

MONTPELIER, Ohio -- The former clerk of this Williams County village pleaded guilty Tuesday in William County Common Pleas Court to stealing more than $90,000 in utility receipts from the village.

Anna Stark of Montpelier entered a guilty plea to one count of theft in office after a state audit identified some $90,165 in missing funds. The stolen money came to light following customers' complaints.

According to the state auditor's office, between 2011 and May 2012, Stark made 71 fraudulent billing adjustments totaling $84,049, stole 20 customer payments totaling $4,095, and diverted final refunds of deposits for 12 customer accounts totaling $2,021 to her own use. Revenue from village business activities, including water, sewer, and electric service, is about $9 million a year.

The state auditor cited the village for failing to require that a supervisor approve utility account adjustments -- a problem village officials told the state they corrected by adding controls to reduce the likelihood of such thefts and updating software to improve accounting controls.



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