) — A former village treasurer has entered a guilty plea in Federal court on counts relating to wire fraud.
of Pana, who formerly served as treasurer fo the village of Tower Hill in western Shelby County, entered a change in plea Feb. 7 from not guilty to guilty before the U.S. District Court in Springfield on three charges of wire fraud. The charges were related to fraud and theft when she was in office. Finley had initially entered a not guilty plea to all counts in June 2018.
Finley is accused of stealing more than $150,000 in cash from the village during her time in office. She was arrested and charged in November 2017 as a result of an investigation revealing probable cause that she had indeed stolen the funds.
for wire fraud relates to any instance between 2010 and 2017, where Finley devised various acts of wire fraud in and around Christian and Shelby counties, by scheming to defraud and obtain funds via means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.
A complaint stated over $150,000 in cash payments were stolen from village coffers and made fraudulent adjustments within the water billing system to cover up her theft, which had resulted in some excessively high water bills within the village.
Finley wrote nine checks to herself totaling $19,315 from the water and sewer funds and cashed and/or deposited them in her personal account. Finley also altered copies of checks following the deposit or cash-out, replacing her name as payee to those of several businesses, presenting them before the board as legitimate vendor bill payments.
Included was a wire transfer of $2,077.12 from the village’s bank account to her personal bank account.
for wire fraud relates to Finley wiring a $2,039.32 check from the village’s bank account to her personal account.
for wire fraud relates to Finley manually backing up files to execute the transfer in the second wire fraud count.
Sentencing is set for June 8 at 10 a.m.