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Press Release

Former City Clerk Admits Stealing $487,673 from Small North St. Louis County Municipality

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – The former city clerk of Flordell Hills, Missouri on Monday admitted stealing $487,673 from the small, struggling city.

Maureen Woodson, 68, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel to one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. Woodson admitted that from roughly February 2016 to April 2022, she and the former assistant city clerk, Donna Thompson, wrote about 614 checks to themselves without the authority or knowledge of the mayor, the treasurer or the board of aldermen. They forged the signature of the mayor and/or the treasurer on the checks, the plea agreement says.

Woodson and Thompson cashed some checks and deposited others into their personal bank accounts, the plea says. Woodson and Thompson used the money to gamble both in person and online, and for personal expenses, the plea agreement says.

They also used city checks or wire transfers of city funds to directly pay the rent for their home in Florissant as well as for entertainment, their federal taxes and expenses at restaurants and stores, the plea says.

In her plea, Woodson admitted fraudulently obtaining $487,673.

Thompson has pleaded not guilty but has scheduled a change of plea February 7, according to court records.

Woodson and Thompson, 75, were indicted in August. 

Woodson is scheduled to be sentenced May 16 in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Each charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. She will also be ordered to repay the money.

Woodson was hired in 2010 and Thompson in 2012. Both women were terminated in May.
Flordell Hills is roughly six blocks square, has an annual budget of about $400,000 and a population of about 800. Approximately 53.9% of those residents live below the poverty line, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The FBI investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith is prosecuting the case. 

Updated February 6, 2023

Public Corruption
Financial Fraud