Former Brownstown Clerk-Treasurer Sentenced for Bank Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 18, 2010|
INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana announced today that Rebecka A. Fee, 56, currently residing in Gamaliel, Ky., but formerly of Brownstown, Ind., was sentenced to 33 months in prison today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard L. Young following her guilty plea to bank fraud. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana State Police.
Rebecka A. Fee was appointed clerk-treasurer of the Town of Brownstown, Ind., in January 2000, and held that position until October 2009. As part of her responsibilities, she processed the payroll for all Town employees, including herself. Beginning in January 2006, and continuing through October 2009, Fee overpaid herself on121 separate occasions, resulting in a loss to the Town of Brownstown of $369,054.70.
In October 2009, Fee's scheme was discovered when the Indiana State Board of Accounts audited the Town books. Fee was suspended as clerk-treasurer on October 19, 2009, and subsequently resigned when the extent of her theft was revealed to the Town Board. In a statement to the investigating officers, Fee acknowledged the general scheme but denied knowing the volume of the fraud.
United States Attorney Hogsett indicated that this was one of the largest public corruption cases prosecuted by his office in terms of the amount of money stolen by a single defendant. "This loss was devastating to Brownstown because it precluded the town from financing many other valid public projects while Fee was stealing the town's money. Brownstown is not a large city and thus this loss had a tremendous impact on its citizens." Hogsett added, "Fee stole not only from her employer, but also from her neighbors." At the sentencing Chief Judge Young told Fee that she did not admit that she was motivated by greed and that she didn't stop until she was caught.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Warden, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Young also imposed three years supervised release following Fee's release from prison. Fee was also ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $369,054.70, as well as restitution in the amount of $28,912 to the Indiana State Board of Accounts for the cost of conducting the audit and accounting of the loss.