Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Genesis Convention Center Employee Charged

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana
With Theft From A Local Government Entity

HAMMOND- Deborah Black, age 62, of Merrillville, Indiana, was charged by Information with one count of theft from a local government entity receiving federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. 

According to the Information, between November 2016 and August 2017, Black was employed as the Executive Director of the Genesis Convention Center, a venue owned by the City of Gary, Indiana. The Information alleges that during this time, Black used her position to steal over $10,000 in cash from the Genesis Center.

The parties have entered into a plea agreement to resolve the criminal charge.  Under this signed plea agreement, which has been filed with the court, if accepted by the court, Black would be required to pay $16,421.80 in restitution to the City of Gary.

U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “My office will continue to aggressively prosecute instances of public corruption. Public officials are not above the law. I encourage anyone with information regarding official corruption to contact my office or the FBI”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office recently charged Victoria Wilson, Black’s coworker at the Genesis Center, with one count of theft from a local government entity for stealing money from the Genesis Center. Wilson entered a formal plea of guilty to her charge on September 17 and is awaiting sentencing.  In her plea agreement, Wilson agreed to pay $12,727 in restitution to the City of Gary.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an Information is merely an allegation and that all persons are presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty in court. If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Board of Accounts.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Abizer Zanzi.



Updated November 8, 2019

Public Corruption