Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Former Chagrin Falls clerk indicted for embezzling $238,000

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A former Chagrin Falls clerk was accused of embezzling more than $238,000 from the village, prosecutors announced.

Debbie Bosworth, 53, was indicted on charges of theft in office, tampering with records and money laundering, according to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley. She could face up to 36 months of imprisonment for each charge.

“Taxpayers expect their money to be handled properly and ethically,” O’Malley said. “Ms. Bosworth exploited her position as a public employee and in the process violated the trust placed in her by the citizens of Chagrin Falls.”

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Ultimately, prosecutors believe Bosworth embezzled more than $238,000 between January 2000 and November 2019.

Bosworth was hired by the Village of Chagrin Falls in 1997. She worked as a clerk in the village’s building and utilities departments during her tenure. She was responsible for payment processing, contractor registrations, building department permits, deposits and managing other accounting tasks.

In November 2019, Chagrin Falls officials discovered financial discrepancies within the building and water departments, prosecutors said. Court documents said there were irregularities between the departments’ bank accounts and accounting software, as well as monthly reports.

Once the discrepancies were discovered, Chagrin Falls police were asked to investigate.

Prosecutors believe Bosworth stole cash from the water department and replaced the missing cash with checks meant for the building department. She then created fake financial reports to obscure her theft, prosecutors said.

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