Ohio audit details theft from Windham by former clerk

COLUMBUS –— A former employee of the village of Windham in Portage County tried to conceal her theft of almost $5,000 by tampering with the village’s utility billing system, according to a state audit released today.

Lindsey Paolella, former utility clerk, pleaded guilty in October to felony count of theft in office and a felony count of tampering with records. She was sentenced in January to 90 days in jail, four years of probation and ordered to pay restitution.

The Auditor of State’s office reported Paolella stole $4,911 in cash from 28 utility payments made by customers from Jan. 1, 2016, through Oct. 5, 2016. For many of the payments, she tried to cover her tracks with a tactic called an adjusting journal entry scheme.

Instead of recording the transaction as a payment in the billing system, culprits using the scheme pocket cash and lower the victimized customer’s account balance enough to offset the stolen amount.

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