Thursday, June 20, 2013

Audit finds N. Indiana school treasurer embezzled $280,000 before committing suicide

A state audit has found that the treasurer of a northern Indiana school district embezzled about $280,000 before police say she committed suicide soon after being questioned.

The thefts weren't suspected until several Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. checks and district credit card receipts for personal items were found by an investigator inside a purse that had been stolen from 50-year-old Sherri Adamson, according to a Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department report released Wednesday.

An officer and the district superintendent confronted Adamson at a Jan. 7 meeting, during which she said it was a mistake then fled after being told she would be taken to the sheriff's office for a formal interview, The Rochester Sentinel and The Journal Gazette reported. Officers found Adamson fatally shot herself inside her SUV in woods near her rural Rochester home.

The State Board of Accounts audit found Adamson made about $245,000 in improper credit card charges since June 2010 along with nearly $35,000 in checks made to herself or her creditors.

Adamson had been the treasurer of the 2,000-student district since July 2007. The district covers parts of Kosciusko and Fulton counties about 50 miles west of Fort Wayne.

District Superintendent Brett Boggs said the district expected full restitution of the embezzled money from public official bonding that covered Adamson. Boggs said much of the embezzlement happened during a time when the district was without a deputy treasurer and Adamson was covering the responsibilities of both positions.

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