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AG Hill Seeks Recovery of Funds from Former Employee of Whiteland Volunteer Fire Department

April 30, 2019

curtis-hill attorney general indianaAttorney General Curtis Hill on April 29 filed a complaint to recover public funds misappropriated by a former secretary-treasurer of the Whiteland Volunteer Fire Department.

The former employee, Divonna Hendrickson, pleaded guilty late last year to several counts of felony theft in connection with her misuse of the public funds. The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office handled the criminal case.

The State Board of Accounts (SBOA) found in an investigation that Hendrickson:

  • received checks totaling $54,018.56 in unauthorized check payments from fire department funds;
  • used the fire department’s credit card to make $6,430.08 in unauthorized and non-allowable personal purchases, including groceries, personal care items, children’s clothes, toys, among other items;
  • endorsed checks made out to “Cash” from fire department funds in the total amount of $791, in unauthorized disbursements.

The fire department’s total pecuniary loss, according to the SBOA, was $61,239.64. As permitted under the Indiana Crime Victims Relief Act, Attorney General Hill is seeking an award for treble damages against Hendrickson for three times the pecuniary loss in the amount of $183,718.92, plus court costs and a reasonable attorney’s fee.

Attorney General Hill also is seeking recovery of the audit costs incurred by SBOA in the amount of $19,534.41.

The total sought from Henderson, then, is $203,253.33, plus court costs and a reasonable attorney’s fee.

Attorney General Hill concurrently is seeking $80,774.05 rom Arch Insurance Co., less any applicable deductible and/or recovery from Hendrickson. The insurance company provides a commercial crime policy covering Johnson County officials and employees.

“We must always hold accountable public employees who illegally siphon money for themselves from the public treasury,” Attorney General Hill said.