United States Attorney's office announces sentence in Sullivan County trustee fraud case
INDIANAPOLIS - Josh J. Minkler, Acting United States Attorney announced today that Frank Mejean, 53, and his wife Antonnette Mejean, 49, both of Carlisle, Indiana were sentenced in federal court today by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. Frank was sentenced to six months in federal prison and Antonnette received three years of probation after being convicted of wire fraud.
Frank Mejean served as the elected trustee of Jefferson Township, in Sullivan County from 2009 to 2013. Antonnette was employed as the township clerk and township investigator who also was awarded a lawn maintenance contract serving Jefferson Township.
“This is yet another case of public officials serving themselves and not the public by stealing money from the poor and the disabled,” said Minkler. “It is about as low as you can get.”
“In court testimony the government proved that the pair engaged in a scheme to defraud Sullivan County by overpaying their salaries every year as well as overcompensating Antonnette Mejean for the lawn maintenance contract. The two submitted false financial documents to the State Board of Accounts to cover up their improper expenditures. In 2009 and 2010 Frank Mejean’s approved salary was $9,800; he paid himself $23,143 in 2009 and $12,807 in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, Frank Mejean’s approved salary was $10,200, he paid himself $25,578 in 2011 and $12,503 in 2012. Salary overpayments from 2009-2012 totaled approximately $34,033. Total salary overpayments for Antonnette’s salary were approximately $9869.
Antonnette Mejean was given a lawn maintenance contract to cut grass in the township and was overpaid $19,624 from 2009 through 2011.
The pair also wrote several checks from 2009-2012 from the township account to pay for personal and business expenses on Frank Mejean Plumbing, a company owned by the couple. Several checks were written for back taxes owed from the plumbing business, some for equipment for the business and one for a mortgage payment on their home. In total, the Mejeans stole over $124,400 from Sullivan County.
This case is the result of outstanding law enforcement work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Board of Accounts, the Indiana State Police and the Internal Revenue Service. All these agencies are partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Public Integrity Working Group which began in 2012, intended to aggressively investigate allegations of fraud, waste and abuse by public officials in Indiana. Anyone with information on public corruption is encouraged to contact the U.S. Attorney’s office at (317)229-2443.
According to Senior Litigation Counsel Bradley Blackington who prosecuted the case for the government, Frank Mejean will serve three years of supervised release after his sentence.