clerk pleads guilty to embezzlement
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[September 28, 2009]
SPRINGFIELD -- A February
sentencing has been scheduled for Melanie J. Riggs, former Lincoln
city clerk, after she pleaded guilty last week to embezzling $46,650
from the city of Lincoln. On Thursday, Riggs, 48, of the 200 block
of Palmer Avenue in Lincoln, waived indictment and entered a plea of
guilty to an information charging her with one count of embezzling
to information disclosed in the factual basis of the plea agreement
and during court proceedings, Riggs admitted that from at least
sometime in 2007 through the end of January 2009, she embezzled at
least $46,650 in government funds for her personal use.
clerk, Riggs administered the city's centralized purchasing program.
Riggs admitted she misdirected city checks intended for payment for
city purchases to her personal use. Riggs admitted she photocopied
city checks without completing the payee, then placed a legitimate
payee's name on the copy. The copy of the check was then given to
the deputy clerk for posting. On the original check, Riggs then made
the city of Lincoln the payee and cashed the check.
Sentencing is scheduled on Feb. 1, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. before U.S.
District Judge Jeanne E. Scott. The offense of embezzlement carries
a statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to
$250,000. The defendant may also be ordered to pay restitution to
victims of the offense.
The charge is the result of an investigation by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois State Police, with
cooperation by the office of Logan County State's Attorney Michael
D. McIntosh. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Patrick D. Hansen.