Police, FBI investigate after $385,000 missing in Columbia, Il

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 6:05 PM

(KMOV.com) -- $385,000 dollars in tax money appears to have vanished into thin air in Columbia, Illinois.

The money was supposed to be used by the city to purchase a park owned by an American Legion post, but the post never got the money.

Six weeks after a standard closing on the sale and still no explanation. Now the Columbia Police Department and the FBI are investigating.

The city agreed to purchase the park, owned by the American Legion Post 581; and on August 7, met at a title company to close on the property and wire the money to a title company escrow account.

 “Once the papers are signed then the title company then has the responsibility to pay the money to the seller and apparently that’s not what happened here,” said City Administrator Al Hudzik.

News 4 went to the title company, Metro East Title on Main Street to ask where the money went but no one was in the office. When reporters called a number for their Belleville office, they only got voicemail.

The American Legion claims the title company says it was given the wrong bank routing numbers but the numbers worked on two follow-up test transfers.

“The city, we have been in touch with the title company and continue to try to get the money for the American Legion,” said Hudzik. 

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