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Former Lincoln City Clerk Sentenced for Embezzlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2010

Springfield, Ill. – A former city clerk for Lincoln, Illinois, Melanie J. Riggs, was sentenced today to serve three months in the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons, followed by five months of home confinement under electronic monitoring, for embezzlement. Riggs appeared before U.S. District Judge Jeanne E. Scott who ordered that Riggs report to the Bureau of Prisons on April 29 to begin serving her sentence. Riggs was also ordered to pay $46,650 in restitution to the city of Lincoln and to remain under supervised release for a period of three years following completion of her prison sentence.

Riggs, 49, of the 200 block of Palmer Avenue in Lincoln, pled guilty on Sept. 24, 2009, to embezzling $46,650 from the city of Lincoln, Illinois. According to information disclosed in the factual basis of the plea agreement and during court proceedings, Riggs admitted that from at least some time in 2007 through the end of January 2009, she embezzled government funds for her personal use. As city clerk, Riggs administered the city’s centralized purchasing program. Riggs admitted she photocopied city checks without completing the payee, then placed a legitimate payee’s name on the copy which was given to the deputy clerk for posting. On the original check, Riggs made the city of Lincoln the payee, cashed the check, and used the funds for her personal use.

The charges were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois State Police, with cooperation by the office of Logan County State’s Attorney Michael D. McIntosh. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Hansen.

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