ST. LOUIS ( -- Instead of upholding the public trust, an elected official in Jefferson County abused it. Now, he could be headed to prison.

The scheme unraveled in Olympian Village, a small town about 40 miles south of St. Louis, where alderman Gary Atchley used municipal funds for his own benefit.

Gary Atchley

Gary Atchley outside of the federal court building.

Court documents lay out the fraud, which totaled nearly $200,000.

“$58,000 on debit transactions, $120,000-something on the checks,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Albus.

That money was supposed to be used for sewers and snow plowing, but went into Atchley's pocket instead.

“This is a small community, less than a thousand residents,” said Albus. “This is a significant amount of money to the city.”

In court, Atchley admitted to the scheme and waived his right to a jury trial. But even after pleading guilty, he offered no explanation when asked by News 4 why he did it or where the money went.

“It’s a small town. You have to trust people,” Albus said. “When trust breaks down stuff like this happens.”

Atchley will be back in federal court for sentencing in January. Hr could face up to 20 years in prison.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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