Chesterton Tribune



Sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for stealing from Town of Merrillville

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An East Chicago resident formerly responsible for collecting bond money for the Merrillville Town Court has been sentenced to more than two years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to theft from a government entity receiving federal funds and to making false statements on a tax return, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Virlissa Crenshaw, 43, was sentenced last week to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $176,763.07 in restitution to the Town of Merrillville, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“According to documents filed in this case, during Ms. Crenshaw’s tenure of collecting bond money for the Merrillville Town Court, in excess of 400 criminal cases were not docketed in the court system because the bond money was stolen and no criminal case was ever docketed,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Ms. Crenshaw essentially engaged in a Ponzi scheme by shuffling bond money from one case to another in attempts to conceal her theft, allowing her to steal even more money.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, the IRS, and the Indiana State Police.



Posted 3/3/2014