The former Enon clerk-treasurer who’s been investigated in connection with missing village funds since September was formally charged and placed in Clark County Jail Thursday following a nearly 4-month investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
Debra Maurer, 48, of 150 S. Harrison St., is accused of embezzling $40,000 from the village and altering village financial records between 2008 and 2012. She was taken into custody by deputies Thursday night.
The charges include theft in office and tampering with evidence, both third degree felonies.
She’s accused of depositing the money into her bank account for personal use, altering village documents to conceal the theft and failing to return village financial records at the end of her elected term, according to Clark County Municipal Court documents filed by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
She frequently conducted village work at home, according to reports.
She did not respond to questions from Springfield News-Sun and WHIO-TV reporters Thursday night at the jail.
Maurer was elected as clerk-treasurer in November 2003 and again in November 2007. She didn’t run for re-election and her term expired on March 31, 2012.
Sheriff’s detectives, along with Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations agents, served a search warrant in September at Maurer’s home. Computers, papers and mail were among the items seized.
Enon Mayor Tim Howard said Thursday the investigation was unfortunate for the community and for all parties involved, but said the village worked closely with investigators and used some of its own resources to get things back on track.
“We’re very committed to getting these discrepancies resolved,” Howard said. He declined to discuss details of the investigation.
The village reported a discrepancy of more than $227,700 in its books to the sheriff’s office in September, which launched the investigation.
In the search warrant affidavit from September, the new clerk-treasurer, Diana McCubbin, said she was unable to balance the books when she took over, that state taxes hadn’t been paid, and that she found the discrepancy when reconciling the village’s books with bank statements.
The affidavit says Maurer trained McCubbin on the village computer, during which the new clerk-treasurer “noticed things that she did not associate with competent or accurate bookkeeping … “Red flags included: two employees with the Social Security number of 999-99-9999 and that McCubbin was instructed by Maurer to do what state investigators dubbed “double book” records. McCubbin also allegedly asked for records that would allow her to re-balance the books, but authorities said Maurer never provided those records.
According to the affidavit, “a manipulation was done on this computer that enabled the user to create two separate set of records. It is the opinion of (Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation) agents that had this only been a mistake that it would have been caught as the records would not balance out.”
Maurer also never returned bank statements dating back to 2010, payroll documents from the beginning of 2012, and other reports that were supposed to have been filed with the Ohio Department of Taxation, when asked to do so by Howard and the village solicitor, according to the affidavit.
This summer, McCubbin was informed that the village had not paid its state taxes and would be subject to a state audit.
The charges are punishable by a combined maximum of six years in prison and a $20,000 fine.