A former office manager for the Bloomington, Indiana parks and recreation department has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a wire fraud charge. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Judith Seigle allegedly stole more than $400,000 over a period of 13 years from the department. Seigle is the second city employee in less than a year that has been charged with taking money intended for use by the city.
Seigle maintained books and records for the parks department, as well as for the Bloomington Community Parks and Recreation Foundation. From 2001 until October 2014, Seigle allegedly diverted, embezzled, and misappropriated funds from both the department and the Recreation Foundation for her personal use.
The FBI, the Bloomington Police Department, and the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office carried out the investigation, and if convicted, Seigle faces a charge of up to 20 years in prison.
United States Attorney Josh Minkler commented on the case in a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice saying, “The citizens of Bloomington deserve better from their paid city employees. This is the second employee in less than one year charged with stealing city funds…The indictment alleges that Defendant Seigle used funds intended for the parks as a piggy bank to benefit herself.”
Justin Wykoff, former manager of the city's engineering services, is the second employee who stole money. He recently pled guilty to 11 counts of wire fraud. From April 2011 to February 2014, Wykoff received cash bribes and kickbacks from the operators of Reliable Concrete and Construction, Roger Hardin and Zach Hardin. The Hardins received over $800,000 from the city in exchange for the kickbacks for Wykoff. Of the $807,000 paid out to Reliable Concrete by the city, about $300,000 was for work that Reliable Concrete never did.
According to investigators, as the investigation continues, more charges could be filed and it could turn out that more money is involved in the case. If Wykoff’s plea deal is accepted, he could face up to five years in prison and would owe the city over $400,000.
In the Department of Justice statement, Minkler made an important point regarding public officials saying, “Public officials need to serve the public and not serve themselves. The projects and programs of the park’s department exist the benefit the citizens of Bloomington.”