Former Flordell Hills employee sentenced after admitting to stealing $487,673
A second former employee was also sentence for stealing $159,903
FLORDELL HILLS, Mo. (KMOV) – A former employee of Flordell Hills was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to repay the $487,673 she admitted to stealing from the North County municipality.
Maureen Woodson, the former city clerk, and Donna Thompson, the former assistant city clerk, were indicted by a federal grand jury in August on two counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. The duo is accused of stealing over $650,000 between February 2016 and April 2022.
Court documents state that Woodson, 68, and Thompson, 75, wrote themselves checks totaling more than $531,000 without the authority or knowledge of Flordell Hills officials. The signatures of the mayor and treasurer were forged on the checks by the women, the indictment states. According to the indictment, the pair used the money to pay for personal expenses and for gambling.
City Attorney Jeffrey Duke says the losses have been felt by the city’s 718 residents, calling it a betrayal of taxpayers and those who work at city hall.
“It was just stolen in bad faith, and that leaves our streets, and just leaves us without some resources we need to keep the city in the type of shape that our residents expect,” Duke said.
Authorities state that in the second scheme, Woodson and Thompson used $132,249 in city funds to directly pay their personal expenses. The money was used for rent, taxes owed to the IRS, retail vendor charges, entertainment, and restaurants. According to authorities, the women either used Flordell Hills bank checks to pay the bills or used wire transfers of city money.
“Very selfish,” longtime Flordell Hills resident Marion Rodgers said. “This lady befriend us, more than a city official. It was conniving, no doubt.”
Woodson previously pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud; she admitted to fraudulently obtaining $487,673. In May, she was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to repay the $487,673 she stole.
Thompson previously pleaded guilty. She was sentenced on Wednesday to a year and a day in federal prison and was ordered to repay the money. According to the courts, Thompson stole $159,903 from the city.
The court said that when both women were embezzling funds, other city officials would sometimes not take salaries. There was not enough money for road maintenance or other vital city services. According to the mayor, volunteers would mow overgrown areas and cleared streets and roads when they were blocked by downed trees or limbs.
Both women were terminated in May 2022.
Copyright 2022 KMOV. All rights reserved.